OSHA fines post office $129,336 for exposing mail carriers to August heat


ARLINGTON, Fla. — You’ve probably heard the saying about postal workers: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night is going to stop them from delivering your mail.

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But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't seem to agree.

OSHA accuses the Arlington post office on Merrill Road of putting mail carriers in danger by requiring them to deliver mail in high temperatures.

The federal agency issued the U. S. Postal Service a $129,336 fine Jan. 24.

The Postal Service began the process of contesting that fine Tuesday.

According to OSHA, around Aug. 9, “Letter Carriers were exposed to the hazards of high ambient temperatures while delivering mail” which could have led to “heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.”

“People’s health is No. 1 and should be a priority in any job or task that is set before us,” said post office customer Frank Jackson.

Chief meteorologist Mike Buresh at WJAX-TV said that was the hottest time of the year in Jacksonville, with a heat index up to 107.

“I think it’s awful, if they had to work under those conditions,” said post office customer Diane Nelson.

OSHA’s website says it has cited USPS for violating the agency’s same rule five times since 2014 at post offices across the country.

A Postal Service spokesperson said she can't answer any of WJAX-TV's questions about the citation because USPS is contesting the fine.