OSHA Proposes $70,000 penalty at Tucson, AZ Postal Facility for exposing workers to potential injuries

TUCSON, Ariz. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution center in Tucson for one willful safety violation for the improper operation of a powered industrial truck. The proposed penalty is $70,000.

OSHA’s investigation of the facility, located at 1501 S. Cherrybell Stravenue, was prompted by a complaint that an untrained, uncertified supervisor had operated a powered industrial truck during an evening shift. The truck, which is used to move large quantities of mail, requires training and certification to operate. When two of three certified truck operators did not report for their shift, a supervisor without training or certification operated the truck, exposing workers to potential injuries. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

“Training and certification for powered trucks is required to prevent injuries and save lives, and it should be a top safety priority for all USPS facilities,” said Zachary Barnett, director of OSHA’s Phoenix Area Office.

Violations of OSHA’s powered industrial truck standard are among the top five types of violations most commonly cited by OSHA in fiscal year 2012.

The U.S. Postal Service has 15 business days from receipt of its citation and penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency’s Phoenix office at 602-514-7250.