U.S. Postal Service hit with proposed $200,000 fine

Employer exposed employees to potentially serious and fatal injuries

U.S. Postal Service hit with proposed $200,000 fine

A U.S. Postal Service location in Hanover Township in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is being charged $236,783 in fine as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that it exposed employees to potentially serious and fatal injuries in the event of an emergency.

Responding to a complaint, OSHA initiated an investigation at the USPS’s Lehigh Valley Processing and Distribution Center. It found that 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.

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

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

Previously, OSHA proposed a $218,839 fine for a family-owned tortilla factory south of Austin in Texas. Also, Ontario-based Morbern Inc. was fined after one of its workers was injured in an incident involving a table with moving parts.