Safety and Health

Bio-Detection Systems   |   Electrical Safety Violations   |   EWP Audit Reports
OSHA Standards   |   Regional S&H Representatives   |   Threat Advisory Codes
Ventilation Filtration Systems   |   Voluntary Protection Programs
Stand Up for Safe Jobs!


About Safety and Health

The Industrial Relations Director is charged with responsibility for the health and safety of all divisions of the Union. Article 14 of the National Agreement requires management to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees covered by the agreement. To achieve this end, the contract provides for the establishment of joint safety and health committees at various levels throughout the Postal Service.

National-level Labor-Management Safety Committees

At the Headquarters level, there is a Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee and a Joint Labor-Management Ergonomics Committee.

Problems in the field should be directed to the APWU Regional Safety and Health Representatives.

The APWU is responsible for working to ensure that USPS management implements safety programs and policies that will protect workers; reviews new equipment for ergonomics and safety factors; keeps track of the latest developments that affect postal workers' health and safety--including new studies, regulations and standards; works to pass beneficial legislation in Congress and to stop harmful bills; and provides education and information to APWU members and locals.

Under Article 14 of the National Agreement, it is the responsibility of management to provide safe working conditions in all present and future installations and to develop a safe working force. The Union will cooperate with and assist management to live up to this responsibility.

Vance Zimmerman, Director of Industrial Relations, is responsible for safety and health for all divisions of the union.

Local Safety Committees

The collective bargaining agreement also provide for a Joint Labor-Management Safety and Health Committee at each postal installation having 50 or more employees. In installations having fewer than 50 employees, installation heads are encouraged to establish similar committees when requested by the Union. Where no safety and health committee exists, safety and health items may be placed on the agenda and discussed at labor-management meetings.

External Links

Below are some useful safety and health links. Note: the APWU is not responsible for the content of these sites.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

American Red Cross

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Department of Labor (DOL)

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

National Academy of Sciences

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

National Library of Medicine

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Safety and Health Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

United States Postal Service (USPS)

World Health Organization


News: Safety and Health

A Safe Workplace: It’s Not a Matter of Luck

03/01/2014 - (This article appears in the May-June 2014 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Tony D. McKinnon Sr., Industrial Relations Director

Our members want to be assured that we will leave work each day as healthy as we were when we arrived.

And that’s not a matter of luck. It’s a contractual right: Article 14.1 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which governs Safety and Health, says, “It is the responsibility of management to provide safe working conditions in all present and future installations and to develop a safe working force. The Union will cooperate and assist management to live up to this responsibility.”

APWU Web News Article 071-2013

More Ricin News

05/31/2013 - UPDATE: In a Stand-Up Talk to employees on May 30, the USPS said, “A third suspicious letter — this one addressed to the President of the United States and showing characteristics similar to the two letters found earlier this week — has been identified, isolated and sent to a laboratory for testing today.” Preliminary tests of the earlier letters tested positive for ricin. Law enforcement authorities are investigating.

APWU Web News Article 069-2013

Another Ricin Incident

Suspicous Letters to NYC, DC Were Postmarked in Shreveport LA

05/29/2013 - Two suspicious letters, one to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and another to an address in Washington DC, are being tested for ricin, the Postal Service has notified the APWU. Both letters were postmarked in Shreveport LA on May 20. The Washington DC letter indicated the presence of ricin in preliminary tests; the New York letter is similar, but has not tested positive.

APWU Web News Article 049-2013

Ricin Suspect Released, New ‘Alleged’ Incident Reported

04/23/2013 - The suspect in the ricin case was released on April 23, and the Justice Department is moving to drop charges against him, according to published reports. Paul Kevin Curtis was charged on April 17 with sending tainted letters to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and a Mississippi judge, but no physical evidence linking him to the crime could be found. There have been no reports of ricin-related illness among recipients, postal employees or non-postal employees who handle government mail.

APWU Web News Article 044-2013

Union ‘Eagerly Awaiting’ Results Of Follow-Up Tests on Tainted Letters

04/17/2013 - The union is eagerly awaiting the results of follow-up tests on letters that indicated the presence of ricin, APWU Eastern Region Coordinator Mike Gallagher said on April 17 after a teleconference with postal officials from the Capitol Metro Operations Area and the Capitol District. Two letters tested positive for the deadly toxin in preliminary tests on April 16. One letter was addressed to President Obama; the other was addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).

APWU Web News Article 043-2013

Ricin Update

04/17/2013 - Postal officials have assured APWU President Cliff Guffey that they will update union officials today, April 17, about incidents involving mail that tested positive for ricin, a deadly poison, in preliminary tests on April 16.