DOL complaint alleges USPS safety violations
The Department of Labor's solicitor recently filed a complaint against the U.S. Postal Service for electrical work safety violations. The complaint, which asks the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to order USPS to correct electrical violations at 350 facilities, marks the first time the DOL has sought enterprisewide relief as a remedy.
Officials said the request for enterprisewide relief is based on the discovery of numerous, similar electrical work safety violations in the course of investigations conducted by OSHA of USPS mail processing and distribution facilities across the country. These violations increase the risk of injury from electrical shock, including electrocution.
While the complaint arises from violations discovered at a facility in Providence, R.I., the requested remedy would apply to all 350 USPS processing and distribution centers, which contain similar equipment.
The complaint alleges that USPS' actions demonstrate an enterprisewide policy that resulted in ongoing systemic electrical work safety violations. Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith said the USPS failed to adequately train workers in recognizing electrical hazards and how to work safely around such hazards, and did not provide workers with the appropriate tools and personal protective equipment to avoid injury or death while working around and on electrical equipment. The complaint also seeks $558,000 for the eight willful and four serious violations discovered in Rhode Island.
September 20, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications