USPS Found to Be at Fault in Metro Mailman’s Heat Death from 2012
WDAF-TV Kansas City - In a statement released by OSHA Thursday afternoon, the investigation uncovered the fact that the U.S. Postal Service did not have procedures in place to address worker concerns during times of excessive heat. Watzlawick found out about verdict by phone. USPS was found guilty with a penalty of $70,000. “The court found that the message to employees from top management down to supervisors was clear –heat is not an excuse for poor performance. This culture must change,” said Barbara Theriot, OSHA’s area director in Kansas City. “If the postal service had trained workers in recognizing the symptoms of heat stroke, and taken precautions to ensure workers had access to water, rest and shade, this unfortunate incident may have been avoided. This ruling underscores the need for employers to take proactive steps to keep workers safe in extreme heat.” The willful violation addressed the hazard of multiple employees who were required to work during periods when excessive heat advisories and warnings were issued by the National Weather Service. An OSHA investigation found that the postal service did not have procedures in place to address worker concerns during times of excessive heat. The Postal Service contested the citation when it was issued in December 2012.