Last week, OSHA hit the United States Postal Service (USPS) with $224,585 in fines after an employee was injured at a facility in Austin, TX.
On April 7, 2018, at approximately 6:15 pm, an employee operating a Toyota Tow Motor truck was injured while stepping off of the moving vehicle. The worker was hospitalized, and the USPS failed to notify OSHA within 24 hours.
The citation was but one of a host of violations discovered during an investigation, including the failure to ensure that powered industrial truck operators obey traffic regulations. Basically, truck operators were speeding, following too closely, and not stopping at posted stop signs on the plant floor.
The USPS also failed to label electrical panels and breakers, and exposed employees to trip hazards.
Tripping doesn't sound serious, but maintenance personnel, when trying to access a machine from the back panels, had to step on and around a two-inch high metal railing that was bolted to the floor. Had they tripped, workers could have fallen into the machine.
The USPS was also hit for making modifications to the Toyota Tow trucks, including welding unapproved tow hitches to the vehicle. The fine is so high because many of the offenses were serious in nature, and even repeat offenses.
USPS has 15 business days to comply or contest the findings.