SUBCOMMITTEE FEDERAL WORKFORCE, POSTAL SERVICE AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

October 3,2008

Mr. John E. Potter

Postmaster General & CEO

U.S. Postal Service

475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Potter:

A May 2008 report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) detailed many of your Ergonomic Working Group's successes at reducing the ergonomic hazards facing postal employees. While we applaud those efforts, we remain concerned about the continuing ergonomic problems encountered by employees who operate the Delivery Bar Code Sorting (DBCS) machines.

We are aware that the Postal Service plans to procure the next generation of DBCS machines, the DBCS 7. We are also aware that a preliminary evaluation of the DBCS 7 prototype by the National Institute of Safety and Health at the Siemens plant in Arlington, Texas found "no significant difference" between the way postal workers will interact with the DBCS 7 and the way they interact with the DBCS machines currently in use. Considering that OSHA's central strategy for correcting the ergonomic problems with this machine is to slow the pace of work, even though it is anticipated that the DBCS 7 will have increased through put due to improved machine efficiencies what kind of work around do you have in place?

We know the Postal Service is greatly concerned for the health and safety of its workforce, and we are confident you will adequately address this issue. Please inform us of your plans to correct the ergonomic problems with DBCS machines. Thank you in advance for your attention to this important issue and we look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely

Danny K. Davis

Chairman

 
Danny Davis Letter