5,214 workers died on the job in the U.S. in 2008 "With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a worker's family members were shattered and forever changed. We can't forget that fact."
-Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
Safety is a key component of all Postal Service operations, activities, and facilities. Nonetheless, safety issues do occur in the Postal Service as in other organizations. Recently, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors found electrical safety violations in several Postal Service Processing and Distribution Facilities (P&DCs).
Electrical Safety issues at Postal P&DCs identified by OSHA include:
•Electricity problems in facilities
•Failure to adequately lock out machines' power sources to prevent unexpected start-ups
•Inadequate training for employees exposed to electrical hazards
•Failure to provide electrical protective equipment to protect employees from arc-flash hazards and electrical current
•Failure to use appropriate safety signs, safety symbols or accident prevent tags to warn employees about electrical hazards
As a result of the findings, OSHA has announced that it will inspect the over 300 P&DCs nationwide.
But OSHA does not consider only electricity–related safety. Other areas of concern include:
•Employee workplace rights
•Chemical Hazard Communication
•How To Prepare For Workplace Emergencies
•Personal Protective Equipment
There are also many instances of praise for the Postal Service from OSHA including:
A 2009 inspection for safety levels at the El Paso Postal Distribution Center that resulted in merit recognition in the Voluntary Protection Programs for its employee health and safety achievements.
Also in 2009, the Postal Service's Evergreen Detached Carrier Unit in Hillsboro, OR, received OSHA's highest safety recognition award.
This topic is hosted by the OIG's Audit Engineering and Facilities team.