Pennsylvania USPS Facility Fined More Than $230K for Workplace Safety Violations

June 30, 2021

A federal workplace safety inspection of a U.S. Postal Service location in Pennsylvania found employees exposed to potentially serious and fatal injuries in the event of an emergency.

Responding to a complaint, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) initiated an investigation at the USPS’s Lehigh Valley Processing and Distribution Center. OSHA determined the facility failed to keep exit routes free and unobstructed at two of the sorting hub’s loading dock areas and cited the USPS with one willful violation.

Investigators also found portable fire extinguishers were not readily accessible and there was inadequate workspace in front of the electrical equipment. OSHA issued two repeat citations related to these workplace violations, as the agency cited the location for the same hazards in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California.

In addition, the agency cited the USPS with two serious violations for additional safety hazards. The facility faces $236,783 in proposed penalties for the violations.

“Exit routes are vital for safe evacuations should a workplace emergency occur,” said OSHA Area Director Jean Kulp in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in a U.S. Department of Labor press release. “Employers who fail to keep them clear and unobstructed put their workers at risk of injuries or worse. The most effective ways to prevent these hazards are to routinely evaluate workspaces and immediately remove materials blocking exits.”

The USPS has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Topics Commercial Lines Business Insurance Pennsylvania

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