The health and safety of U.S. Postal Service employees and customers is a priority. Over the past few years, our office has done a series of audits to determine if USPS management is adhering to building safety, maintenance, and security standards at its facilities.

Last spring, we issued an audit report that capped our reviews of processing facilities, and the previous year we focused on post offices. But our work didn’t stop there. Recently, we selected facilities to review based on a checklist we developed around building maintenance, safety, and security. Facilities with a number of deficiencies were selected first.

At three facilities in the Indiana District, we identified 33 deficiencies, ranging from minor to serious violations. At three post offices in the Mid-Carolinas District, we found that building maintenance and safety were not up to standards, with 20 deficiencies identified. Among them: rusting, damaged walls; missing ceiling tile, crumbling concrete on loading dock; damaged sidewalk and potholes; and restrooms in need of major repair. At one post office we noted a buckling of floors and uneven metal plates, as well as a substance on walls that appeared to be mold.

We recommended immediate corrective action with clear evidence that actions have been completed. Also, we recommended regular housekeeping duties inspections be undertaken, and remediation plans established for those items needing long-term corrective action.

As noted, our work in this area will continue as we identify additional facilities with many deficiencies, or improvements, based on our checklist. Have you observed any maintenance, safety, or security problems at Postal Service facilities?

Comments (16)

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  • anon

    I will say I seen that management at corporate from Belmawr nj bought in someone to New Castle and made a big change and believe me it was and is for the best the atmosphere is been great and so much better clerks are feeling pretty good about coming to work since the removal of a toxic Supervisor with so many complaints some people should not Supervise but she was to close and friendly to the postmaster and did what she wanted never came in early like she was suppose to always had an excuse but no Consequences for her meaning they have worked together at other station way, way to long and sometimes separating postmaster and supervisor with years of history is needed this was and is the best thing for new castle the Supervisor who was removed was toxic & nasty New Castle is on a good course now sometime u need to Shake the tree with removing Supervisor with history the worker deserves this clerks and carrier work extremely hard doing there job it was her way or no way sad again thanks to corporate for making this great change at New Castle if u were to talk to employees they would tell u they are being treated fairer now and are glad to not being abused and talked to nasty they are glad she was removed and is not there anymore it is the best for everyone. The postmaster who came there temporarily to put new castle Centerpoint back in order put new castle on the right course & allowed clerks who been there to learn and be trained to learn other jobs in the clerk Field like they should have been and she filled in jobs that was needed to be filled in and also got the help that was needed because if u are a clerk u should know how to do all clerk work and she made changes good one to the office it is to bad she was not able to stay she but she put in on a good course Also the Supervisor who had to be removed had her own agenda and was not allowing clerks to learn anything so she depending on 2 favorite people she had her 2 favorite workers giving them all types of hours unnecessarily overtime hours again it is good she was removed Centerpoint is doing well and all the workers are doing so much better hope it will stay this way thx for the good change hopefully it will stay this way

    Aug 01, 2020
  • anon

    Dear USPS, While I understand the USPS is essential and contrary to what the USPS website says, the USPS has not been considering the health and safety of their employees. The website says ”USPS Service Alerts- Despite the global health challenges we are facing, USPS remains committed to serving you. The safety of our customers and employees remains our top priority as we provide the essential service of delivering your mail everyday.” The USPS is committed to earning profit. Yes, I understand there are those that need vitally important packages. However, the “top priority” is not the health and safety of the employees or even the customers. If it was, at least the lobby’s would be closed and clerks, carriers, and other staff would be safe from this HEALTH CRISIS not a “health challenge“ as the USPS refers to it on the website. The site addresses the chances of catching COVID-19 from packages is unlikely and maybe so (even though it lives on some surfaces for days.). However, what the site fails to do is discuss the lack of safety and precautions not taken by the USPS for its employees and customers. The lobby’s are remaining open exposing the essential personnel and other customers to this very deadly virus. USPS needs to close the lobby’s and windows and have drop boxes for packages and mail. The staff can still work to get the mail sorted and delivered. These are unprecedented times. The USPS is not keeping pace with the rest of the government and even other essential state and government personnel. The post offices do not even have the necessary protective wear one would expect the USPS to provide during this very frightening time. Younger people are dying everyday from this virus. Not just the elderly. I encourage the USPS to take my complaint on the USPS very seriously and truly make the safety and health of its employees and customers a “top priority” and close the lobby’s and windows. Keep the mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers we love safe! Sincerely, Concerned Citizen

    Mar 20, 2020
  • anon

    Mail carriers handle thousand of mail and packages every day from everywhere and delivery them physically to everywhere. When are you going to give them some guidelines about handwashing, hand sanitizers and social distance. The USPS is a huge potential vector for the Coronavirus.

    Mar 15, 2020
  • anon

    Is there any resource for people who suspect their mail carrier is stealing/losing/not delivering mail because of a prior complaint?

    Mar 07, 2020
  • anon

    The answer to the Invisibility question is the same as it is all through the post office. Hurry, hurry,hurry, be safe. When I brought a legitimate safety concern to my postmaster I was told " Go ahead and do it , file a grievance later" How typical.

    Mar 04, 2020
  • anon

    I have over 34 years with the Post Office and on the building maintenance side of the house management got rid of custodian/building maintenance mechanic route sheets years ago so there is no accountability for cleaning and maintaining the buildings

    Mar 04, 2020
  • anon

    Not surprised. This stems from supervision or lack thereof. I'll also include unions into the people to point fingers at. Postmasters not talking pride in there office, only there to collect a pay check. Supervisors below postmasters over worked due to postmasters doing the Barr minimum and forcing their subordinates (that care/take pride) to pick up the rest. Which leads to them treating clerks and carriers as numbers and not people. This extends to how the employees treat customers. The difference between how each post office is operating is night and day. You can have two+ post offices in large cities or compare suburb to neighboring suburb. Those that are positively received tend to have the Postmasters that actually care. The post office supervision seems to be a "good ol' boy" system and those promoted are because of their personal connections or because they simply had worked for a decade or more; rather than merit. The unions add into this because they make it very difficult to get rid of bad employees, carriers and clerks who consistently make the same errors. With the unions jobs are clearly defined and what tasks are mandatory for that position. What this does is bad "career" employees due the bar minimum, which includes working slower to avoid doing the "optional" tasks that need to be accomplished but are not penalized if not completed. Which just spreads to other employees or the hard workers leave because they know there is no benefit to stretching themselves to cover for others, there is not promotion or raises due to performance, everything is seniority based. In conclusion clean up the supervision and drop all the bureaucracy that increases the costs, pay scales that include performance incentives rather than time.

    Mar 04, 2020
  • anon

    Yeh, right. That would be the day

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    Taken from managements comments in the linked audit: "Regarding recommendation 3, management stated they are implementing a new MS-1, operation and maintenance, staffing process to determine the correct number of maintenance staff needed at each mail processing plant. Management stated they have suspended hiring in anticipation of potential maintenance staff reductions, but after each plant’s staffing package is approved, they will be allowed to fill vacancies up to the new authorized levels. The target implementation date is August 1, 2019." *** - Has there been a single facility that the authorized complement increased? I'd be surprised to find a case that occurred. The average reduction I heard with the new MS1 is a 75% reduction of building mechanic positions. The new staffing allotted less hours per square foot (nothing changed about the building, they just get less hours now). Any particular local conditions which routes were designed around previously were removed to implement a national standard. Perhaps that is good in some way, it is at least a logical approach. What isn't logical is providing the absolute bare minimum in every single category of equipment with a faulty system where the equipment is entered. The whole revamp was a rushed fraud with blatantly invalid data being pushed on from HQ to attempt to get a new number so they could construct a narrative of having taken 'aggressive management actions' to result in 'savings'. Those 'savings' will surely result in further actual costs and issues for years to come. The USPS doesn't truly care about implementing realistic solutions systematically to address issues, as everything is viewed as costing too much (there is no outlook at the preventative costs benefits any longer, nor any real investment to make the software that the data is input into to work properly) that doesn't involve directly putting a letter in a mail box. Just look at the methodology of the audit you put out before. Do you really believe a feel good comment response that management agrees will make any tangible difference overall to the approach of maintenance being conducted at facilities? There is something obviously wrong systematically if each and every facilities local management is doing something wrong or not managing well enough. I recall a previous audit conducted where HVAC maintenance was looked at. From what I recall the conclusion was that the HVAC routes should be completed. This was just before the new MS1 where the HVAC routes were hacked down to a bare minimum, with the staffing model to now match what is earned based on those minimal routes. That conclusion was a good example of chasing a number as well frankly. Do you realize how many mechanics and management simply pencil whip those sorts of routes as being completed to not have a bypass without fully conducting the entire route? That would make a good example of what are things local management at various facilities should realistically improve on. What isn't a good conclusion is that every single facility across the nation claims to have severe staffing issues as a result of a faulty staffing model which can't keep up with the workload. I probably just repeated the same thing 5x over, but it frankly really irritates me how shortsighted and cheap the USPS becomes over maintenance considering how little of cost/percentage it makes up of the overall workforce versus the benefits it provides in preventing major issues. There are many times over more waste in delivery and mail processing versus what the additional building mechanics in the old MS1 would have costed.

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    It’s only been about 3 weeks since a rusted out light pole fell on some ones car at the air mail facility. Asbestos tile also takes for ever to get patched or replaced because of the short staffing of building equipment mechanics. Same thing with patching holes on the work room floor that the pit equipment drive over. These holes are made worse by the safety standards not being enforced on not pushing gaylords(often 6-7 at a time) across the work room floor with forklifts and double jacks. At any time if you checked for blocked fire extinguishers and pull boxes or blocked emergency exits we probably wouldn’t pass. The main plant is just to small for the mpe and empty/full racks. This is even after they moved the AFSM 100s to the airmail facility. There are other complaints on that subject but I’ll wait for a post about appropriate use of staffing and wasting resources for that rant.

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    My office had exposed fiberglass insulation on the ceiling for over two years with complaints being unanswered from you until we filed an OSHA complaint. Fiberglass dust was every where including our lungs.

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    The post office needs to improve on the quality of service and the treatment of employees. There is no standards being set by upper management because most of them have not never carried mail or just having done in the last 30 years. Some of the standards being set or unrealistic and out of date. Management is a mess and most have no clue what they're doing because there is no real selection process kiss whoever raises their hand can become a supervisor. Then in time to become a postmaster and they have no idea how to care email how to sort mail forwarding mail sorter is. that is some of the biggest issues the post office has a face size of fact that everybody's trying to do everything in 2 minutes and it doesn't take 2 minutes it takes it longer and the pushing needs to stop soon

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    I am a postal employee in Oakland California, the working conditions are deplorable, the supervisors are bullies, I have been injured by faulty equipment, and my return to duty I am expected to do housekeeping with no resources proper workstatio Or support ! Unbelievably dysfunctional and depressing

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    List away everyone. But like all OIG actions, nothing will be done about it. We complained multiple times about the asbestos and black mold in our office. Not even a response.

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    What about postal building that have asbestos in the floors and lead pipes? That’s why the PO that I work in is dealing with...

    Mar 03, 2020
  • anon

    Why are you now surfacing after years and years of virtual invisibility ? I’ve written you a number of times and have not even gotten a single response.

    Mar 02, 2020

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