OSHA is going postal. No, not like that.
In slightly over two months, the agency has fined seven USPS facilities all over the country almost $2.3 million for various safety violations.
April 30: A Providence, R.I., facility is hit for $558,000, primarily for electrical and lockout/tagout hazards. Employee complaints precipitated the investigation.
May 10: A Bedford Park, Ill., processing center is assessed $210,000 for electrical and protective equipment hazards. Again, employee complaints led to the inquiry.
May 10: A Denver distribution center is fined $217,000. OSHA said employees were testing live electrical equipment and without adequate training or PPE.
June 8: A Pittsburgh processing facility is billed $299,500 for electrical hazards, inadequate training, failure to protect employees from arc-flash hazards and electrical current, and failure to use appropriate safety signs and symbols.
June 8: On the other side of the state, two Philadelphia facilities are fined $497,000. OSHA found inadequately trained employees working without PPE.
June 21: In Portland, Ore., a processing and distribution center is fined $77,500 for electrical hazards, lockout/tagout violations and inadequate PPE. Employee complaints led to the investigation.
June 28: A Scarborough, Me., facility is fined a whopping $430,000 for exposing workers to electrical hazards, arc flashes and arc blasts.
With the U.S. Postal Service already having trouble making ends meet, this new trend can’t be helping.
But OSHA’s message seems clear: No matter how tight money is, scrimping on safety is never acceptable.