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OSHA Cites Mail Processing Facility for Hazards



The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service mail-processing facility in White River Junction, Vt., for alleged willful and serious violations of safety and health standards following inspections prompted by employee complaints. The facility faces $44,250 in proposed fines.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the U.S. Postal Service mail-processing facility in White River Junction, Vt., for alleged willful and serious violations of safety and health standards following inspections prompted by employee complaints. The facility faces $44,250 in proposed fines.

OSHA's inspections began in May and found that a machine used to process bulk mail was inadequately guarded against employees coming into contact with its moving parts, exposing employees to lacerations and fractures. The facility failed to provide adequate guarding even after a job-safety analysis identified the hazard.

OSHA also found that employees and supervisors were handling and cleaning up spills of unknown materials from leaking containers in violation of Postal Service policy and without proper respiratory protection.

"The Postal Service requires that unidentified substances be handled by outside hazardous materials experts and OSHA standards require proper respiratory protection when employees respond to spills," said OSHA Area Director Rosemarie Ohar. "Although no injuries have yet resulted, failure to follow these safeguards places first responder employees at risk of inhaling unknown and potentially hazardous substances."

OSHA issued two serious citations, with $4,250 in fines, for these hazards. A serious citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.




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  posted on 11/2/2006   Article Use Policy




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