OSHA fines USPS $178,156 for exposing workers to safety hazards at Merrifield VA distribution center

osha-uspsOSHA fines USPS $178K after inspectors find workers exposed to safety hazards at Merrifield distribution center

Employer name: U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center

Inspection site: 8409 Lee Hwy, Merrifield, Virginia

Citations issued: On Dec. 12, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations to the postal service for three repeat and two serious safety violations, including one issued as a violation of the OSH Act’s general duty clause.

Investigation findings: OSHA began the inspection on June 13, 2016, in response to a complaint alleging employee exposure to struck-by hazards at the Merrifield distribution center.

The repeat violations relate to the postal service allowing workers to operate powered industrial trucks without seatbelts, employees exposed to caught-between hazards, and powered industrial trucks used without being inspected. USPS was cited previously for similar violations in 2014 and 2015.

Struck-by hazards due to inadequate lighting, and the use of defective equipment, resulted in the serious violations.

Quote: “Thousands of workers are injured each year – some fatally – while operating powered industrial equipment. Employers like the USPS, whose workers move materials with powered industrial equipment, must that ensure workers are trained properly, loads are stable, and pathways are well lit and clear of obstructions to prevent injury,” said Stanley Dutko Jr., director at OSHA’s Norfolk Area Office. “It is every employer’s legal responsibility to provide workers with a safe and healthful workplace.”

Proposed penalties: $178,156

The citation can be viewed at: https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/USPostalServiceProcessingandDistributionCenterPDCMerifieldVirginia_1154949.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.

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8 thoughts on “OSHA fines USPS $178,156 for exposing workers to safety hazards at Merrifield VA distribution center

  1. kiddies they will never see one thin dime……now get your arse back to work. it is all safe and healthy. we know what is best for you. your company unions sing from my score sheet. that is all.

  2. what is the total this year for USPS and OSHA. God it must be nice to burn up
    other peoples money this way. Just waiting for the promotion and big Christmas
    bonus. We don’t get any treatment in the Great Lakes like this. Our stories are more
    like Pontiac’s, or Flints. Get tough or die.

  3. why do the stupid employees work under those obvious conditions?
    the forrest gump crew is growing strong there.

  4. Fire all the toolbags who look the other way when it comes
    to safety. If they spent half the time on safety that they
    spend on smoking and drinking coffee they might accomplish
    something positive. $75,000 a year times 100,000 EAS
    employees fired would save the Postal Service a ton of
    money. The craft employees could run the show without
    toolbags staring at them all day. What a bunch of losers.

  5. After Donald Bankruptcy becomes President, OSHA won’t do this again. The employees will be on their own. Remember, small government, big business, and zero worker rights! You have the right to work, nothing else is needed.

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