USPS: Investigation still open after worker lost arm
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is continuing to investigate an accident at a North Carolina distribution center in September that caused an employee to lose an arm after touching a machine, the federal agency said Monday.
The U.S. Postal Service also said that it’s reviewing a citation filed Friday by the U.S. Labor Department that found serious safety violations at the Greensboro Network Distribution Center.
“The Postal Service places the safety and well-being of its employees as a top priority,” the agency said in a statement Monday. It declined further comment.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it inspected the Greensboro facility following the Sept. 27 injury. The agency released its findings in a news release on Friday.
OSHA said that the arm of the mechanic working at the facility was amputated after coming into contact with a machine that had a safety guard removed. OSHA’s inspection identified “repeat and serious safety violations, including failure to ensure that safety guards were in place as required and allowing conveyor guards to be routinely removed, leaving workers at risk of injuries,” the news release said.
The facility also failed to train staff on working near conveyors or proper methods for safely operating equipment, OSHA said. And the facility allowed workers without adequate training and protective equipment to perform tests on live electrical equipment, the news release said.
OSHA said its citations come with $170,918 in proposed fines.
“The U.S. Postal Service ignored long-established safety standards and put workers at risk,” OSHA Area Director Kimberley Morton said.
USPS will be able to request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings, the news release said.