OSHA: US Postal Service continues to expose workers at Virginia center to powered industrial equipment hazards; faces $120K in fines
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service for workplace safety violations found at a mail processing and distribution center located at 5801 Technology Blvd in Sandston, Virginia. Proposed penalties total $120,000.
OSHA initiated an inspection on Oct. 27, 2015 in response to a complaint alleging hazards involving power industrial equipment at the facility. 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. 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.
Proposed penalties: $120,000
The Postal Service 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.
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.”