Video: Postal employee killed in workplace accident in Brooklyn Center MN

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. – An employee of the U.S. Post Office branch in Brooklyn Center is dead after being run over by a truck Tuesday morning.

Brooklyn Center Police were dispatched to the postal branch at 6845 Lee Avenue around 7:30 a.m. on reports of a workplace accident.

Witnesses say an employee was backing up a semi truck to the loading dock when it stuck another employee who was walking in to the building.

Read more: Postal employee killed in workplace accident in Brooklyn Center | kare11.com.

OSHA Cites Maine, Michigan USPS Facilities for Unsafe Working Conditions

APWU Web News Article 025-2013, March 8 , 2013

oshaThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a citation to the Postal Service for unsafe working conditions at its Scarborough ME facility and fined the agency $27,500 on Feb. 1.

The Postal Service failed to mark aisles in work areas where mechanical handling equipment such as forklifts and tow-motors routinely travel, in violation of OSHA Standard 29 CPR 1910.176(a), OSHA charged.  The Postal Service has appealed, and the APWU has requested “party status” to participate in the appeal process.

OSHA classified the violation as a “repeat” offense because “final orders” for the same unsafe practice were previously issued at two other workplaces – on April 11, 2010, in Littleton MA, and on Sept. 21, 2009, in Cleveland.  The final orders serve as evidence the Postal Service was aware of the hazard, OSHA said. The repeat citation in Scarborough charges that the USPS failed to correct the known hazard in all its facilities.

Michigan

OSHA also issued the USPS a repeat citation on Nov. 15, 2012, and fined the agency $25,000 for safety violations at its Romulus MI facility. Electric tow motors were modified without prior written approval by the manufacturer, OSHA said, exposing employees to the potential to be struck by, crushed or caught in the modified tow.

Modification of the equipment violates OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.178(a)(4), OSHA said. According to OSHA, the modified latches fail to provide a secure connection between the tow-motors and the container. Under these conditions containers weighing hundreds of pounds could become unlatched and roll uncontrollably on the workroom floor.

The Postal Service has appealed the citation and fine, and the APWU has requested party status to participate in the proceedings.

OSHA issued a prior final order for the same unsafe condition on Dec. 21, 2010, in Pittsburgh.

OSHA Issues Citations, Fines in Charlotte

oshaOSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has issued citations and fines of $16,500 against the USPS for safety violations at the Charlotte NC postal facility.

The citations, which were related to work on grinding machinery, were classified as “repeat” violations because the USPS was previously cited for the unsafe practice at a workplace in Raleigh NC. An employer may be penalized for repeated violations if it has been cited within the last five years for the same or similar hazard.

The Postal Service has 15 working days from receipt of the Jan. 24 citations to appeal OSHA’s ruling at an Informal Conference.

The APWU has notified OSHA that the union wishes to be present at the conference if the Postal Service requests one.

 

OSHA Cites USPS for Safety Violations in RI

osha

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the USPS for safety violations at its Providence, RI operation including three violations concerning the organization’s failure to protect employees from multiple potential hazards from using powered industrial trucks. OSHA also admonished the USPS for two safety violations that were not specifically covered under OSHA regulations. The penalties proposed in the citations total $6,630.

According to OSHA’s informal settlement agreement, the USPS failed to meet OSHA standards when it did not ensure that warning and danger labels were legible on powered industrial trucks. Powered industrial trucks were also left unattended whereby the load engaging means were not fully loaded, controls were not neutralized, power was not shut off, and brakes were not set. Also, forklift operators did not have the load and load engaging means tilted back while traveling.

OSHA also discovered that the Automated Package Processing System (APPS) is currently configured in a way that employees could extend an arm or leg into the hazard zone without triggering a shutdown of the system. Additionally, OSHA observed that the various mail-handling carts used at the facility had defective components.

Since no specific OSHA standards applied to the hazards related to the APPS and mail-handling carts, no citation was issued. OSHA suggested the USPS install additional sensors to the pallet unloader subsystem and/or install an interlocked gate at the loading station to address the APPS safety hazard. OSHA stated that USPS should conduct inspections on all component parts of mail-handling carts when they arrive at the facility; conduct refresher training to mail handlers; and establish and implement a method to track and notify sending facilities of requirement to remove damaged carts from service.

The Postal Service intends to challenge OSHA’s decision regarding the APPS violation. The APWU national office encourages locals to share OSHA’s recommendations with sites in their regions that have an APPS machine.

OSHA blames USPS for heat-related death of Missouri letter carrier

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service Truman Station in Independence, Mo., with a willful violation for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat. OSHA initiated an inspection in July after a mail carrier developed heat-related illness symptoms, collapsed while working his route and was taken to the hospital where he died as a result of his exposure to excessive heat.

“This tragedy underscores the need for employers to take proactive steps to keep workers safe in extreme heat,” said Charles Adkins, OSHA’s regional administrator in Kansas City. “If this employer had trained workers in recognizing the symptoms of heat stroke, and taken precautions to ensure workers had access to water, rest and shade, this unfortunate incident may have been avoided.”

The willful violation addresses the hazard of multiple employees who were required to work during periods when excessive heat advisories and warnings were issued by the National Weather Service. The employer did not have procedures in place to address worker concerns during times of excessive heat. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Information and resources for workers and employers on heat illness, including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency, are available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html. Materials include a training curriculum. OSHA also has a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites, which can be downloaded in English or Spanish at http://s.dol.gov/RI. The application displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level.

Penalties of $70,000 have been proposed. The Postal Service has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Kansas City, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report 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 Kansas City office at 816-483-9531.

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.