Official investigations revealed in 2020 that a Greensboro, North Carolina, mailroom mechanic lost his arm from a machine with its safety guard removed.
A report by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found “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.”
According to the report, USPS workers were not provided with the necessary protective equipment or training to safely work near conveyors and other electrical equipment at its Greensboro facility.
OSHA said the violations they discovered come with proposed fines of $170,918.
Attorney Bill Smith explains SC workers’ compensation benefits
The USPS’s long history of failing to protect its workers
Sadly, these repeat violations discovered by OSHA at the USPS’s Greensboro facility, which led to one of its workers losing their arm, seem to be part of an established problem that the USPS has with injury protection and compensation for its employees.
More than a decade ago, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the USPS because of its unfair treatment of injured workers. As a result of the lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that more than 44,000 postal workers had been unfairly fired or pressured to quit their jobs after suffering work-related injuries while working for the Postal Service.
Despite the EEOC’s ruling about the unfair discriminatory practices the USPS uses against its workers, the Postal Service is still fighting the class-action complaint to this day. According to a report by ProPublica, “The EEOC plans to go case by case through about 28,000 claims, and the Postal Service is contesting each worker’s allegations, which could drag out the process for years.”
The Postal Service claims that workers haven’t provided sufficient proof that their injuries were directly related to their work at the USPS.
Non-career USPS employees lack training
According to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), non-career employees at the USPS have a significantly higher rate of injury than permanent employees—50 percent higher, in fact. Some reasons for this increased injury rate among non-career employees include:
- They often work odd hours (such as night shift when there is less support).
- They are more likely to be assigned to unfamiliar tasks or routes.
- They are pressured to perform work that is less safe.
- They are pressured to work quickly.
Because the USPS employs a large number of non-career employees at any given time—about 200,000 across the U.S.—it’s vital that these workers receive the same training and safety equipment provided to career employees to ensure a safe working environment and reduce injury rates.
When to contact a South Carolina workers’ comp attorney
Any employee who suffers an injury while working at the USPS should take the matter seriously and follow the proper procedures in order to receive compensation. Because of the Postal Service’s long history of disregard for its workers’ safety and poor treatment of those who get injured on the job, it’s critical that you contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected.
If you live in South Carolina and would like help with your workers’ compensation case, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Chappell, Smith and Arden, P.A. Our firm has more than 30 years of experience fighting for workers in South Carolina. We’ve recovered over 300 million dollars for our more than 9,000 satisfied clients, and we’d love the opportunity to help you as well. Contact our office today for your free, no-obligation consultation.