USPS continues to expose workers at Virginia center to powered industrial equipment hazards; faces $120K in fines

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OSHA Region 3 Press Release – May 4, 2016

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.
Inspection 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 independent Occupational 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

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