SAN ANTONIO- The Texas Department of State Health services announced it will be having a statewide Zika workshop in McAllen on Wednesday. For people who work outside, concern about the mosquito-borne virus is especially high. Take mail carriers, for example. One mail carrier is fighting to make sure they’re provided with mosquito repellent.
For a mail carrier, this is their office, the great outdoors. And with that can come some hazards.
“For letter carriers who deliver out in this, this is our office, and we are constantly being bitten by mosquitoes and there is a possibility that a pregnant woman or someone who may want children may get bitten by a mosquito and get infected with the Zika virus,” says, Vice President for the National Association of Letter Carriers in San Antonio
Richard Gould is representing a local mail carrier who recently filed a complaint with OSHA after not being provided mosquito repellent.
PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) – The family of 38-year-old Keesha Gray of Detroit has now hired a lawyer to investigate her death at the Metroplex Mail Distribution Center in Pontiac.
She’s one of five workers to die on the job in 14 months, the latest happening in October of 2015.
Gray died from Bronchial Asthma in June of 2015. Her attorney Brian McKeen tells us she felt sick that day at work and told her managers she was going to her car. That’s where he says she collapsed, died, and she wasn’t found for nearly two hours.
Inspection findings: OSHA opened an inspection on Oct. 27, 2015, after a complaint alleged hazards involving power industrial equipment at the facility. Inspectors issued citations after they found the employer:
Allowed employees to operate powered industrial equipment despite the fact the equipment was not inspected or examined for defects after each shift.
Permitted employees to operate powered industrial vehicles without use of a seatbelt.
Allowed employees to operate powered industrial equipment in aisles clearly marked for wheeled mailed carts, exposing workers to struck-by or caught-between hazards.
Failed to provide employees with training to ensure they were competent to operate the equipment.
Let employees improperly tow wheeled carts using powered pallet jacks.
OSHA cited the U.S. Postal Service for similar hazards in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Quote: “Every year, thousands of workers are injured – some fatally – while operating powered industrial equipment,” said Stan Dutko Jr., OSHA’s area director in Norfolk. “It is every employer’s responsibility to provide its employees with safe and healthful workplaces. Prompt and effective corrective action must be taken.”
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independentOccupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Norfolk Area Office at 757-441-3820.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
URBANDALE — A federal safety agency has cited the U.S. Postal Service distribution center in Urbandale for one new and two repeated safety violations.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in a news release Monday that the citations follow an October 2015 OSHA investigation of a complaint alleging forklift operators were handling unstable loads and driving forward with no clear path of visibility.
An East Bay widow whose husband died after he sustained a serious injury at work is fighting for tens of thousands of dollars in benefits she believes the government owes her.
Twice Larnie Macasieb filed claims with the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs after her husband Sam died.
The government says there is not enough evidence to prove what happened. Records show postal service personnel blocked law enforcement from the facility, rendering them unable to conduct an investigation.
From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
Employer name: U.S. Postal Service, Ottumwa, Iowa
Citations issued: Oct. 23, 2015
Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Des Moines Area Office cited the postal facility for three safety and health violations, one repeated, one serious and one other-than-serious.
The citations follow a July 2015 OSHA investigation of a complaint alleging a mail carrier reported experiencing heat illness symptoms and requested relief from completing his route on June 10. OSHA’s investigation found the carrier was directed to complete the route, despite feeling ill. The heat index that afternoon exceeded 100 degrees. The continued exposure put the employee in imminent danger of further illness. During its investigation, the agency found that a mail carrier was hospitalized for heat illness on July13. The carrier had also asked for relief due to feeling ill, and was directed to complete the route.
OSHA cited the employer for one repeated violation for exposing workers to excessive heat while delivering the mail. USPS was cited for a similar violation in Independence, Missouri, after a worker died of heat related illness in 2014. OSHA also found carriers could not readily summon emergency assistance.
OSHA has a heat safety campaign to educate employers and workers about heat-related illness and a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites.
Quote: “When a worker says they are experiencing heat related illness and need assistance, employers must respond and take appropriate precautions. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can quickly become heat stroke, and that can be deadly,” said Larry Davidson, OSHA’s area director in Des Moines.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the Agency’s or the agency’s Des Moines Area Office at 515-284-4701.
From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
Employer name: U.S. Postal Service, 204 Fairforest Way, Greenville, South Carolina 29607
Citations issued: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one willful and two serious safety citations to the Postal Service on Sept. 14.
Investigation findings: The willful citation was issued for exposing employees to struck-by hazards by blocking and restricting traffic flow in aisles that are shared by powered industrial trucks and pedestrians. The serious violations include allowing employees to operate a forklift without using seat belts and exposing workers to falls from heights up to 8 feet.
Proposed penalties: $79,900
Quote: “Exposing employees to being hit by vehicular traffic while working in warehouses and distribution centers is never acceptable,” said Darlene Fossum, director of OSHA’s Columbia Area Office. “Management must ensure safety is the top priority when expanding, modifying and consolidating working environments.”
USPS ELM instructions on handling medical emergencies, retrieved June 28, 2015
Yesterday we learned that the widow of Oakland CA postal worker Samuel Macasieb, who died on the job after co-workers followed USPS policy and didn’t immediately call 911, has had to take legal action against the US Postal Service in order to claim the benefits she is entitled to. The lawyer arguing on behalf of Ms. Macasieb says that “Following the incident, according to the court documents, the government denied federal benefits to Samuel’s widow, claiming it was not work-related”. While most readers were already familiar with the Macasieb case from the extensive coverage it received last year, some weren’t. A number of those readers expressed disbelief that such a 911 policy had ever existed at a postal facility.
Not only did the local policy exist- the national policy that authorized it was still in effect up until just last month, ten months after Mr. Macasieb’s death. Even today, more than a month after the policy was supposedly changed, the online version of the DMM still instructs employees to “Notify security or other designee, who calls 911” in the event of a medical emergency. Continue reading →
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a St Louis postal facility for repeated safety violations:
Employer name: United States Postal Service
Investigation site: 1720 Market Street, St. Louis, Missouri
Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Jan.13, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration initiated an inspection of a United States Postal Service mail processing site after receiving a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions at the facility.
Investigation findings: Investigators found blocked portable fire extinguishers, alarm systems and electrical equipment such as circuit breaker boxes and transformers throughout the ground floor of the mail center. OSHA issued two repeated safety violations.
“These hazards found throughout the mail center are completely unacceptable. The threat of fire inside this structure exists and set procedures to safeguard this equipment must be continuously monitored and enforced,” said Bill McDonald, OSHA’s area director in St. Louis. “Employers that are cited for so many safety violations repeatedly demonstrate a lack of commitment to employee safety and health.”
OSHA previously cited the same facility for these violations in 2014. OSHA issues repeated violations when an employer has been previously cited for the same or a similar violation in the past five years.
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — When a mail carrier died on the job, his wife blamed the Post Office for not taking his concerns about excessive heat seriously. The widow finally has closure two years after his death.
All Kay Watzlawick has of her husband John are memories. They would’ve been married 35 years this year and she remembers him fondly, even when recounting disagreements.
“I’m not perfect and he wasn’t either. I miss those arguments believe it or not,” she said.
John Watzlawick was a devoted mail carrier of 28 years. He died delivering mail on a blistering hot day in July 2012.