The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service Bulk Mail Center in Kansas City, Kan., for numerous serious and repeat safety violations endangering the health and safety of its employees. OSHA has proposed $191,000 in penalties against the facility.
An OSHA inspection revealed seven alleged repeat and 21 alleged serious violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA's inspection was initiated under its site-specific targeting program which targets employers with high injury and illness rates.
"There is no excuse for the lack of attention to the work environment that resulted in a multitude of violations, including seven repeat violations," said Charles Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "It is imperative that employers take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and provide a safe working environment for all of their employees to prevent accidents from occurring."
The serious violations stem from overall deficiencies in walking/working surfaces, fall protection, sling use, machine guarding, welding and electrical equipment. OSHA issues a serious violation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard that an employer knew or should have known about.
The repeat violations address hazards associated with exit routes, eye wash facilities, electrical equipment and hazard communication. OSHA issues a repeat violation when an employer has been previously cited for the same, or a substantially similar, violation within three years of the final order date.
The Labor Department has filed an enterprise-wide complaint against the U.S. Postal Service for electrical work safety violations. The complaint asks the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission to order the USPS to correct electrical violations at all of its facilities nationwide. This complaint marks the first time OSHA has sought enterprise-wide relief as a remedy. Within the past five years, OSHA has conducted more than 900 inspections at USPS facilities across the country and has issued more than 600 citations.
The USPS Bulk Mail Center has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Wichita, Kan., or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission