By Matt Flener – July 1, 2020
KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Thousands of investigations into working conditions across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic are getting quietly closed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, after complaints of working conditions by employees and the public.
What’s left unexplained is why those investigations are getting closed so quickly, how many on-site inspections OSHA has performed since March, and what penalties employers face if they fail to keep workers safe.
“It’s terrifying for workers, because they’re really on their own,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a worker health and safety program director for the National Employment Law Project and a former chief of staff and policy advisor for OSHA….
KMBC also noticed other complaints on OSHA’s website for health care facilities and postal facilities
A USPS spokesman issued a statement about two April complaints to OSHA.
“The Postal Service is fully cooperating with OSHA and addressing their concerns through the normal administrative process. It is important to note that the OSHA complaints are only allegations and not findings against the Postal Service.
“The Postal Service has comprehensive policies and practices that have been in place since the start of the pandemic, which help ensure the health of our employees and customers. We continue to follow recommended guidance and strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including face coverings, social distancing policies and cleaning procedures.
“The Postal Service provides an essential government service, connecting Americans with election and voting materials, medications, stimulus checks and goods and products often available only through home and business delivery. Both CDC and the United States Surgeon General have indicated that it is unlikely for the virus to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging.
“For this and other reasons, the United States Postal Service is the most trusted brand in America. In fact, a brand new Harris Poll of Americans rated the United States Postal Service as the company with the best response to the COVID-19 pandemic based on our ‘resolve, integrity, responsiveness and permanence.'”