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Region 3 News Release: 10-772-PHI (osha 10-82)
June 8, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
Phone: 215-861-5102
E-mail: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines US Postal Service nearly $300,000
for exposing workers to electrical hazards at Pittsburgh, Pa., facility

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service for workplace safety violations related to electrical hazards found at the Pittsburgh mail processing facility located at 1001 California Ave. Proposed penalties total $299,500.

OSHA initiated an inspection in October 2009 in response to a complaint alleging the hazards. Inspectors cited the Postal Service with four willful violations carrying a penalty of $265,000; one repeat violation, with a penalty of $25,000; and two serious violations with a penalty of $9,500.

"The Postal Service's blatant disregard for workplace safety standards has left workers at this facility exposed to unnecessary risk of serious injury," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.

The willful violations include inadequate training for employees exposed to electrical hazards, failure to provide electrical protective equipment to protect employees from arc-flash hazards and electrical current, and failure to use appropriate safety signs, safety symbols or accident prevent tags to warn employees about electrical hazards. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

The repeat violation is due to the facility's failure to use approved covers for electrical junction boxes. A repeat citation is issued when a substantially similar violation is found at any of an employer's facilities in federal enforcement states within three years of a previous citation.

The serious violations include the use of an un