Sun. May 19th, 2024

OSHA Dismisses Penalties against USPS

April 15, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » WorkersCompensation.com

Portland, OR (WorkersCompensation.com) – Allegations of violations at a mail-sorting facility in Portland, Ore., were unproven, an administrative law judge with the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission said Wednesday.

The judgement will dismiss the total penalty of $148,137, officials said.

In 2021, inspectors with OSHA followed up on an employee complaint about the USPS facility in Portland alleging that at least six nonqualified employees had been allowed to complete maintenance on machinery.

“The first complaint was e-filed with OSHA on November 24, 2021, by [redacted], who at the time of his complaint was a level 9 mechanic who worked on Tour 1 and was an authorized employee on the DBCS and AFSM at the site,” court records said. “His online complaint includes the following commentary: ‘The Postal Service management officials have been placing untrained employees in unsafe situations. They’ve been allow untrained employees to complete the Operational Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance and Reactive Maintenance Routes. These employees are not qualified per the Electrical Work plan agreement 6 EL-810-2013-5 and MMO-023- 13. There are approximately 6 employees that I’ve identified so far.’”

A second complaint alleged employees had been exposed to hazards on the job.

“The Postal Service has been exposing employees to electrical shock, crushed-by, struck-by, any other related hazards while performing maintenance work without proper training in Lock-out Tag-out (LOTO) procedures,’” court records said. “(OSHA Area Director (AD) Cecil Tipton) reviewed the Notice and then assigned Compliance Officer (CO) Cassandra Davis and CO Michael Potter to inspect Respondent’s worksite. When asked whether he received a copy of the Notice before CO Davis inspected the worksite, (the complainant) said that he remembered seeing the Notice.”

Inspectors took testimony from 17 employees and then cited the USPS sorting facility for three serious violations, alleging the lack of training on lock-out/tag-out procedures and machine guarding, and that a lock-out/tag-out device had been removed from machinery.

 

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