Postal Service Fined $93,500 Following Worker Complaints

OSHA found exit routes blocked by bins, carts, boxes and other equipment, and electrical control panels blocked by carts and bins.

OSHA has cited the U.S. Postal Service for five alleged repeat violations of safety standards following an inspection of the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center, located in Manhattan. The Postal Service faces a total of $93,500 in proposed fines following an OSHA inspection prompted by complaints.

OSHA found exit routes blocked by bins, carts, boxes and other equipment, and electrical control panels blocked by carts and bins. In addition, fire extinguishers were not mounted and readily available for use, floor expansion joints and other areas where powered industrial trucks are operated were not maintained in good condition, and required refresher training was not provided to an employee who operated a powered industrial truck.

"These are all conditions for which the Postal Service previously has been cited at other facilities in New York," said Kay Gee, OSHA's Manhattan area director. "Left uncorrected, these hazards expose workers to the dangers of fire, tripping, and struck-by injuries, while also being unable to exit the workplace swiftly and safely in the event of a fire or other emergency. The Postal Service must take effective steps to eliminate these hazards and prevent them from happening again."

In this case, the repeat citations stem from the Postal Service having been cited by OSHA in 2007 and 2010 for similar hazards at facilities in Binghamton, Melville, and Jamaica, N.Y.

"One means of addressing and eliminating recurring hazards, such as these, is having an effective illness and injury prevention program in which management and workers proactively identify and eliminate hazardous conditions on a continual basis," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York.

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