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APWU Urges Locals with DBCS Machines
To File OSHA Complaints

(03/30/09) The APWU has sent a letter to local presidents in regard to ergonomic issues related to Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) operations. The purpose of this letter is to explain the attached information and the APWU’s intent to have multiple OSHA complaints simultaneously filed by locals with DBCS machines, nationwide. APWU has made many attempts to discuss and correct known ergonomic risks and hazards associated with the operations of the DBCS machines. Although we have had some success, the Postal Service continues to refuse to discuss identified ergonomic risks and hazards.

On October 22-25, 2007, OSHA conducted an assessment of the DBCS operations as part of an Ergonomics Work Group (EWG) verification review that was required under the now expired Ergonomic Strategic Partnership Agreement. OSHA’s verification review documented that ergonomic risk associated with the DBCS operations are still present and some of their findings are similar to the findings of two prior NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations. The Postal Service has
refused every attempt by APWU to discuss the ergonomic risks and hazards presented in OSHA’s report. APWU has developed the enclosed OSHA complaint package which locals are being asked to file with their OSHA area offices. Instructions on completing an OSHA-7 form are attached. Additionally, you can find your OSHA area office at www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html.

As stated earlier, it is the APWU’s intent to have multiple OSHA Complaints filed in locations throughout the country at the same time. To accomplish this, we are asking that every local file the OSHA Complaint with the completed OSHA-7, the week of April 5, 2009. Locals should file individual OSHA complaints for each facility with a DBCS within the installation.

Following submission of the complaint, OSHA should schedule an inspection of the DBCS operations; you and/or your designee may participate fully in this inspection. OSHA should not provide any advanced notice of this inspection. OSHA may hold an opening and closing conference to outline the purpose of and the findings from their inspection. Please notify the APWU Industrial Realtions Deptment about OSHA’s visit.

Click here for a copy of the letter to local presidents, including forms and instructions for filing an OSHA complaint.

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