USPS OIG: Safety First

September 24, 2018

It might not surprise you that dog bites are among the top accidents involving postal workers. After all, dog bites get a lot of media attention and even have a week dedicated to their prevention.

But that’s just one type of accident. Others include accidents involving motor vehicles, falls, and repetitive motion injuries. These risks are why the U.S. Postal Service focuses so much attention on reducing accidents in the workplace. It sets an accident frequency rate goal of 15 per year per 100 employees.

We recently audited USPS facilities in the Great Lakes Area because they reported the highest average accident frequency rate of all seven Postal Service areas the past two years, at 17.9 per 100 employees. Our objective was to determine if the Postal Service adhered to safety policies and procedures on accidents. We found room for improvement.

We visited 14 facilities in the Great Lakes Area, and reviewed all 26,051 accidents, including all 95 serious accidents for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. A serious accident is one that results in death, hospitalization, property damage exceeding $100,000, amputation, or loss of vision.

Our review found the Great Lakes management did not consistently adhere to safety compliance and accident reporting requirements. We noted:

  • About one-third of serious accident investigative reports were not completed within the 15-day requirement.
  • Sixty-nine percent of all eligible employees were not identified to participate in the mandatory CARE program, or the Counseling at Risk Employees program, which was established to engage employees in accident prevention using accident statistics, root cause analyses, and action plans.
  • More than a third of total accidents did not have the required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Form filled out within 24 hours.

We recommended the Postal Service add an oversight mechanism to its review process to encourage timeliness of report completion. We also recommended management reconcile employee data to be sure eligible employees are included in the CARE program. USPS should also provide refresher training to area facility managers using available OSHA safety and health training on safety recordkeeping practices.

If you work at a postal facility, what safety issues have you witnessed or experienced?

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RRR

SAFETY FIRST – WHO IN THE HELL ARE YOU BULLSHITTING. Our post office has had a major safety hazard for several months with could cause serious injury or death to employees. NOBODY in the postal service took it serious. File an OSHA complaint yesterday – OSHA called today – amazing how it is getting looked into now,

To the postal service: “safety can not be all words and no action by the employer”

How dare you get on the site and preach safety first.

RRR

To all employees, if you feel you have a safety issue, don’t go to the postal service for help – go contact OSHA – only then will you get results

Maillady

I agree to call OSHA for the environmental issues, but for bodily injuries of repetitive motion, document every work related injury and keep a copy. Make sure you go to agency doctor and start and injury paper trail. You can get schedule award money for repetitive motion injuries to shoulders, hands, legs. The key is to document everything. Keep a record of parcel counts, take pictures of over filled tubs. Cause if you ever have to file for an occupational injury, you will need all this info. Also get a copy of your physical exam when you were hired to… Read more »

RRR

Over six months of bringing this major safety violation to supervisors and upper safety management who just IGNORED it all. In two days after filing an OSHA complaint, it is amazing how the postal management got off their ass to investigate. Was told by the postmaster today it is going to cost USPS over $10,000 plus to correct and repair. USPS OIG: Why did it have to go too OSHA ? Is it that your talking out of your ass because your mouth knows better? This was a safety matter waiting to seriously injuring a employee or killing them. Don’t… Read more »

RRR

STILL WAITING “OIG” FOR AN ANSWER. EXPLAIN WHY IT HAD TO GO THIS FAR ?

Eileen Castillo

Once you are out the door so is all your safety suggestions.
We will be informed and suffer the consequences if something happens. We will also be penalized, aggressively,if safety precautions means more office or street time in any way. That includes life threatening situations like 100 degree weather.
Postal management’s first priority is the numbers on their clipboard that effect their own personal jobs. Period.

julie leonhardt

How about addressing the “drive in middle” of vehicle for rural carriers ?? How is this safe ?? The parcels today is unreal. I had a hard time doing this back in the day with zero parcels.

RRR

How about a rural route where you have to back up to a mailbox for a turn around on a curve / hill. Another is on a sharp curve with two mailboxes and you can’t see what is coming around the corner when pulling out. Even through it was reported on paper, safety came out from a higher command, agreed with you – it is a safety factor. But don’t do anything about it because it might inconvenience the customer. Many of my mail boxes are on a highway with no pull off. You are on the road blocking half… Read more »

RRR

STILL WAITING FOR OIG TO ANSWER. WHAT A BUNCH OF ASSHOLES – I DIDN’T ANY ANSWERS

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