We place a lot of trust in the U.S. Postal Service to keep our mail safe and secure each day. And thousands of hardworking men and women support their families as postal employees. Yet the post office is frequently cited for work safety violations from one end of the nation to the other. A USPS center in Duluth, Georgia is the latest site facing serious citations and $80,000 in penalties.
Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys are aware of all the dangers workers face in the workplace and encourage employees to voice their complaints about job safety. Laws are in place to prevent employers from retaliating against employees for reporting safety risks.The U.S. Department of Labor for Occupational Safety & Health Administration has recently released the safety violations for the post office in Georgia. The fines will be imposed as a result of a site inspection where numerous violations were found in the Boggs Road office in Duluth. The postal service facility was found negligent for five repeat violations which include:
-Deficiency in lockout/tagout mechanism which prevents accidental start-up on machinery.
-Storing items in front of the electrical and circuit breaker panel.
-Electrical, fire, and receptacle boxes exposing unutilized openings.
-Utilizing bendable cords rather than fixed wiring as required.
-Electrical strain prevention clamp was absent on the dock lights.
Repeat violations are issued when an employer has prior knowledge that there was a deficiency or problem in the past and was cited with a previous violation within the last 5 years. Repeat violations bring heftier penalties, which in this case is $75,000.
In addition to the repeat violations, OSHA has cited the Duluth post office with two serious violations proposing another $5,000 in penalties. Serious violations are incurred when there is a possibility of death or serious injury as a result of the employer having previous knowledge (or should have known) of a hazard in the work environment. The two serious violations the Duluth post office was cited for were: exits not being visibly marked and exposure to electrical wiring on broken dock lights.
The U.S. Postal Service has their own campaign slogan “Safety Depends On Me” in which USPS companies propose safety in the workplace on their Letter Carrier Network website. Their employees can refer to this website for safety information. Other programs the U.S. Postal Service has worked closely with OSHA on are: Voluntary Protection Program; Ergonomic Risk Reduction Process; and joint safety initiatives with employee unions.
Most jobs have some sort of risk involved when performing them. The key is to know what your rights are and make sure the employer keeps you safe in the performance of those duties.
If you have experienced a serious injury at work in the Atlanta area and want to discuss your rights, contact the experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns. Call 404-303-7770 to make a free appointment to discuss your claim.