OSHA fines USPS $178K after inspectors find safety hazards at Merrifield VA distribution center

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center

Inspection site: 8409 Lee Hwy, Merrifield, Virginia

Citations issued: On Dec. 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the postal service for three repeat and two serious safety violations, including one issued as a violation of the OSH Act’s general duty clause. Continue reading

OSHA fines USPS $342K after workers exposed to bloodborne pathogen hazards at Brooklyn, Maryland, annex

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service LLC, doing business as Brooklyn South Carrier Annex

Inspection site: 1500 Cherry Hill Road, Brooklyn, Maryland

Citations issued: On Nov. 22, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the postal service for one serious, two willful, and three repeat health violations. Continue reading

OSHA: Iowa USPS facility exposes workers to mold, electrical hazards from unrepaired water leak

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service, 116 Oak St., Moorhead, Iowa

Citations issued: March 24, 2016

Investigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s Des Moines Area Office cited the postal facility for one repeated and four serious safety violations.

The citations follow an October 2015 OSHA investigation of a complaint alleging visible mold in the vestibule area of the postal facility. An investigation found workers exposed to slips, electrical hazards and respiratory illness because water was leaking into the facility causing the mold to form and also dripping onto the electrical panel.

Quote: “Employers must make visual assessment of their facilities on a routine basis and promptly repair maintenance issues that can cause an illness, slips, falls and other injuries,” said Larry Davidson, OSHA’s area director in Des Moines.

Proposed Penalties: $63,500

View Citations here.

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 Des Moines Area Office at 515-284-4701.

OSHA cites USPS after two Des Moines workers suffer heat illness while delivering the mail

DES MOINES, Iowa – Feeling the symptoms of heat-related illness, a 24-year-old U.S. Postal Service mail carrier asked her supervisor to be relieved after walking about half-way through her 11-mile delivery route on a hot June day in Des Moines when temperatures exceeded 93 degrees.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration later learned the woman’s supervisor told her initially to continue walking her route despite feeling ill. Continue reading

OSHA finds USPS exposed workers to asbestos hazards at Indiana facility; proposes more than $49K in fines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking more than $49,000 in fines from the US Postal Service for repeatedly failing to keep employees safe from asbestos contamination at its West Baden Springs Indiana facility:

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service
8182 State Road 56
West Baden Springs, Indiana

Citations issued: July 29, 2016

oshaInvestigation findings: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration‘s Indianapolis Area Office has cited the West Baden Springs’ postal facility for four repeatedviolations. Acting on a complaint alleging safety concerns there, inspectors began an investigation on June 3, 2016, and found violations of OSHA’s asbestos protection standards.

OSHA found USPS failed to:

  • Provide awareness training for employees that worked around broken mastic and tile contained asbestos.
  • Promptly clean up spills and releases of presumed asbestos containing material.
  • Ensure the use of dry sweeping to clean up asbestos containing materials.
  • Label areas with materials identified as containing asbestos.

Quote: “Until the early 1980s, asbestos – now, a known carcinogen – was used commonly in building materials such as floor tiles. Employers in workplaces with materials known to contain asbestos must train workers to take precautions when a spill or scratched tile creates the potential for a release of asbestos fibers,” said Vanessa Martin, OSHA’s area director in Indianapolis.

Proposed Penalties: $49,720.

View Citations here.

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 Indianapolis Area Office at (317) 226-7299.

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Source: 2016 – 08/08/2016 – OSHA finds US Postal facility exposed workers to asbestos hazards; agency proposes more than $49K in fines

Video: Texas letter carrier wants protection from mosquitos, Zika virus

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.

Source: Mail carrier wanting protection from mosquitos | KABB

 

OSHA: USPS continues to expose workers at Virginia plant to equipment hazards; faces $120K in fines

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center

Inspection site: 5801 Technology Blvd., Sandston, Virginia

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued one other-than-serious, and four repeat citations on April 26, 2016.

oshaInspection 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.”

Proposed penalties: $120,000

The citations can be viewed at: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/USPostalServiceProcessingandDistributionCenterPDC_1102214.pdf*.

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.

Source: 2016 – 05/04/2016 – US Postal Service continues to expose workers at Virginia center to powered industrial equipment hazards; faces $120K in fines