Safety first. This mantra of parents everywhere is also a cornerstone of U.S. Postal Service internal policies and federal regulations on facility maintenance to provide a safe and healthy workplace for its employees.

Our latest audit reviewed whether management adhered to building safety, maintenance, and security standards at mail processing facilities. We found concerns, ranging from minor oversight infractions to more serious issues.

USPS has 286 mail processing facilities totaling more than 70 million interior square feet. Between October 2010 and February 2018, mail processing facilities generated more than 46,000 maintenance requests, incurring over $876 million in costs. We reviewed 32 mail processing facilities nationwide, a statistical sampling based on risk factors.

We found 282 deficiencies, including:

  • 145 deficiencies (51 percent) at 27 facilities related to safety, including blocked fire extinguishers and/or blocked fire alarm pull stations;
  • 68 deficiencies (24 percent) at 24 facilities related to maintenance, including severely damaged roofing, ceilings, and infrastructure; and
  • 69 deficiencies (25 percent) at 27 facilities related to security, including unsecure vehicles, non-functioning security cameras, and unsecure perimeter fences.

At one facility, building safety deficiencies were so severe that we escalated the issues to Postal Service leadership while on-site, and USPS contracted with an engineering firm to complete a structural evaluation.

We recommended management address deficiencies by developing and implementing an action plan that includes a timeline for completion. We also recommended hiring additional maintenance staff at locations where appropriate.

Have you observed any maintenance, safety, or security problems at Postal Service processing plants? 

Comments (12)

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  • anon

    Our post office lobby is disgusting. Over flowing bucket for throw away mail is on lobby floor. A patron even put the bucket in front of the door where employee could not miss it but it was thrown aside and more Mail fell to floor. The flooring in our small lobby is dirty and chipped. The Mail employee takes no pride whatsoever in making our entrance to this post office enjoyable. This issue has been going on far too long! Quinebaug, CT 06262

    Sep 18, 2019
  • anon

    I liked this blog. Thanks for sharing this great piece of information.

    Aug 13, 2019
  • anon

    Just wanted to say thank you! to the processing and distributing center in Portland 97208. I had got my son report card from school and it was just a paper that was Stapleted on the ends. One of the sides ripped so it was put in the bag stating WE CARE. That was really awesome and I just wanted to say thank you! I didn't know you guys did that I've never gotten nothing like that and I'm new to Portland and it made me feel at home. I just want to say thank you thank you for caring about the security of my mail.

    Jul 02, 2019
  • anon

    Local USPS Office is not being maintained, exterior is an eyesore, exposed wires on light poles. Local Post Master has not been helpful. How can this be addressed and changed?

    May 17, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your comment. If your concern has not yet been addressed by the USPS Office of Consumer Affairs or the local postmaster, please file a complaint with our Hotline. You can access the online complaint form at uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint. This will allow us to look into the matter for you.

    May 17, 2019
  • anon

    I can tell you something for sure that you dont check for, but should. Default codes in numeric door entry locks. The new code is entered, but the default code is not deleted. This gives anyone with a little bit of knowledge a way into facilities.

    May 15, 2019
  • anon

    I appreciate the Postal Service for caring for ALL their employees safety.

    May 15, 2019
  • anon

    You need to come visit the Priority Annex in Hazelwood, MO. We have lots of dangerous conditions such as: lack of space to store working mail, trash & other items; dock area is constantly filled with mail & other items that have not been "staged" in other areas causing near misses on a daily basis w/tuggers, forklifts & dock off-loading personnel. Also the security at the employee entrance is NOT monitored - employees with lost, missing or other issues w/badges is not checked on a regular basis; the same employees continue to ring the bell to get in (most of the time by non-postal cleaning people or a friend of theirs that is waiting for them at the door. We are also supposed to use our badge to exit the building but many, many employees just walk right out & let the alarm sound because they know noone is monitoring the exit/entrance. Signs went up back in November when this new badging requirement was added to the employee entrance/exit but to date it appears noone monitors this. Please come visit!

    May 13, 2019
  • anon

    Millstadt Illinois post office took away our hot water heater 6-8 weeks ago and never replaced it . We don’t have hot water to wash hands after using bathroom or any other personal need, there for no hat water not very sanitary (please help) Bertha supervises here and refuses to do anything. Also I brought bald front tire to her attention from a truck we used from Columbia Illinois her responses were that’s not Millstadt ‘s truck , I said Millstadt letter carriers are using it see said she didn’t care .

    May 13, 2019
  • anon

    Its not unsanitary to wash hands in cold water.

    May 25, 2019
  • anon

    I agree with you

    Jul 16, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your comment. The Office of Audit is continuously reviewing facility conditions, safety and security concerns, and personnel issues. Audit teams often select units from a specific sampling methodology based on various criteria and as a result, this site could pop up. Regardless, your issues and the Millstadt, IL PO are on our radar. – The Audit Group

    May 14, 2019

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