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Federal Injury and Illness Statistics for Fiscal Year 2006

(First, Second & Third Quarter Cumulative Totals)

Department or Agency Employees1 Total Cases3 Total Case Rate (TCR)4 Projected End-of-Year TCR5 Lost Time (LT) Cases3 LT Case Rate (LTCR)4 Projected End-of-Year LTCR5 Fatalities
Federal Government (Includes Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches & U.S. Postal Service) 2,688,134 90,027 3.35 4.47 37,500 1.4 1.87 93
U. S. Postal Service (Excludes Postal Rate Commission) 763,596 39,642 5.19 6.92 12,985 1.7 2.27 32
Federal Government (Excludes U.S. Postal Service) 1,924,538 50,385 2.62 3.49 24,515 1.27 1.69 61
source: Department of Labor

USPS’ New Ergonomic Program

Southern Region Safety & Health Rep/Pompano Beach Steward

    In January of this year, the USPS introduced a new nationwide program designed to reduce the number of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) suffered by postal workers each day.  This new program is called the Ergonomic Risk Reduction Process (or ERRP and yes, another acronym!) and the USPS has high hopes that in the long run it will significantly impact the way we do our jobs on a daily basis.
           To improve the way we do our jobs and to make the workplace more suitable to the worker’s needs, the USPS has contracted a number of ergonomic engineers to go to various facilities across the country to observe workers working so that new, worker friendly methods and equipment can be instituted wherever possible.  In other words, they will attempt to adapt the workplace to the worker.  This nationwide program is based upon a pilot program that was begun at the Albany (NY) P & DC about two years ago, and this program has been credited with consistently and significantly lowering the injury rate at that facility.  OSHA representatives have personally told me that the injury rate at the Albany facility is continuing to fall to this day. 

        Some of the improvements that were made in Albany were the installation of equipment that reduced bending at the waist, the rearrangement of equipment in a manner that reduced excessive and strenuous twisting of the upper torso, and the introduction of equipment that made lifting easier.  A trademark of this program is worker involvement through active participation with the contracted ergonomic engineers and with the local safety and health committee.  The filing of Form 1767s is encouraged, as is the filing of legitimate CA-1s.   Postmaster Jack Potter has enthusiastically endorsed and launched the program on a nationwide basis mainly because of its success in Albany, and because USPS compensation costs zoomed from 900 million dollars two years ago to a whopping 1.5 billion dollars last year!     

      To begin this program, I have been told that the USPS identified those facilities nationwide with the highest injury rates and has had, and will continue to have, coordinators, OSHA officials, and union reps introduce themselves to the respective safety and health committees to describe the process.  In the APWU Southern Region, the programs have begun in the Fort Worth and Nashville P&DCs, and it will be introduced in Tampa, Birmingham, and Austin by June 2003, with more sites to be chosen in the latter part of this year.  Facilities will then continue to be scheduled for introduction of the process over the next five years.       

    Why is the APWU backing this program as of now (NOTE: This support is subject to change!)?  For a number of reasons.  First, as you may recall the OSHA ergonomic standard was scrapped by Pres. George W. Bush as soon as he took office.  Without a solid, legal foundation for the APWU to stand upon, and with no new ergonomic standard on the horizon, this program basically represented a glimmer of hope for all of the postal workers who, by the USPS’s own admission, are continuing to get hurt on the job. 

         Simply put, the APWU is backing this program at this time because it makes moral sense, it makes economic sense, and studies have proven that these programs have worked well in other industrial settings.  If the process gets results, i.e. a lowered injury rate, we all benefit.  Less workplace injuries means less compensation costs; less compensation costs means a better bottom line; and a better bottom line means a better and stronger entity that can better employ us for, hopefully, a longer period of time.  It must be stressed that the APWU, however, will remain vigilant of the process because of possible resistance from lower level managers and supervisors, and because the process could become a tool to issue discipline to workers. 

    When will this process be coming to Fort Lauderdale, or other parts of the APWU Southern Region?  This remains to be seen, and if the program proves successful, perhaps not soon enough.  Time will tell.

Bob DelPrete

(posted March 10, 2004)

OSHA Identified 48 Postal Service sites out of approximately 13,000 workplaces. The full list can be found at:  letter04.zip 388K

Interesting tidbits:. Last Year OSHA identified 91 postal facilities out of 14, 202. with the highest injury/illness rates.  Out of the 48 postal facilities identified in this year's report--some facilities are three-peats. (which means the facilities were included on the list 3 years in a row). The Postal Service's chief competitors have a higher number of facilities identified by OSHA: UPS (216) and FedEx (141).  

OSHA Trade Release
Feb. 27, 2004
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Identifies Workplaces with Highest Injury and Illness Rates

WASHINGTON -- The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health has alerted approximately 13,000 employers throughout the country that their injury and illness rates are significantly higher than the national average and encourages them to take steps to address safety and health hazards in the workplace.

In a letter this month to those employers, John Henshaw explained that while their rates were higher than most other businesses in the country, the notification was simply a proactive step to encourage employers to take steps now to reduce the rates and improve safety and health for their employees.

"The intent of the notification is to alert employers that their injury and illness rates are above average," Henshaw said, "but, as important, we also want to offer them assistance to help reduce those rates. This process is not necessarily a negative; on the contrary, it provides employers a tremendous opportunity to take steps to improve workplace safety and health and create value for their organization."

OSHA identified establishments with the nation's highest workplace injury and illness rates based on data reported by 80,000 employers surveyed by the agency last year (that survey collected injury and illness data from calendar year 2002). Workplaces receiving the alert letters had seven or more injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activity, or job transfer (DART) for every 100 full-time workers. Nationwide, the average U.S. workplace had fewer than three DART instances for every 100 workers.

Henshaw sent letters to all employers with high injury and illness rates, and provided copies of their injury and illness data, along with a list of the most frequently violated OSHA standard for their specific industry. While addressing his concerns for the high rates, Henshaw also offered the agency's help in turning those rates around, suggesting, among other things, using the free safety and health consultation services provided by OSHA through the states, developing an internal process to identify and control hazards, or hiring outside safety and health consultants.

"The data collection initiative is conducted each year and gives us a clearer picture of those establishments with higher than normal injury and illness rates," he said. "This information allows us the opportunity to place our inspection resources where they're most needed and to plan outreach and compliance assistance programs where they will benefit the most."

The 13,000 sites are listed alphabetically, by state, on OSHA's website at: http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/foia/hot_10.html. This list does not designate those earmarked for any future inspection. Also, the sites listed are those in states covered by federal OSHA; the list does not include employers in the 21 states and one territory (Puerto Rico) that operate OSHA-approved state plans covering the private sector.

OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 9, 2004

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

SUBJECT: The Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) Initiative

The cost of Federal workplace injuries, when measured by workers' compensation losses, is more than $2 billion and 2 million lost production days annually. In fiscal year 2003, the Federal workforce of almost 2.7 million filed more than 168,000 injury claims. Behind these numbers lie pain and suffering by workers and their families. Clearly, Government agencies should strive to do more to improve workplace safety and health and reduce the costs of injury to workers and taxpayers. Many workplace injuries are preventable.

Therefore, I am establishing SHARE: Safety, Health, and Return-to-Employment Initiative, a safe workplace initiative for fiscal years 2004-2006. The initiative's four goals cover the most important elements of a strong safety and health management program: lower workplace injury and illness case rates, lower lost-time injury and illness case rates, timely reporting of injuries and illnesses, and fewer lost days resulting from work injuries and illnesses. The Secretary of Labor will lead the SHARE Initiative and will measure the performance of each department and agency against the goals. I direct all executive branch departments and agencies to participate in SHARE for this 3-year period.

Each department and agency will collaborate with the Department of Labor to establish challenging annual goals based on its current performance in the four areas. The Department of Labor will measure and track agency performance, and will report to me annually on each agency's progress towards meeting its goals. The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Office of Workers' Compensation Programs will also work with Federal departments and agencies to develop new workplace strategies to improve safety and health at high injury rate sites, assist them in improving the timeliness of reporting claims through electronic and other means, and guide them in providing suitable work and tools for injured and disabled employees.

Federal supervisors and managers must focus management tools and resources on eliminating unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. Federal employees should be encouraged to perform their jobs safely, effectively, and alertly to remain injury- free. Dedication to ensuring our Government workforce family is safe and healthy preserves the resources of Government and helps promote the delivery of Government services to the American people.

GEORGE W. BUSH (source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040109-9.html)
According to a report released by the Department of Labor "Reduction in Lost Production Days was not accomplished in FY 2003. OWCP’s GPRA goals in this area are divided between the US Postal Service and the rest of government. Both categories saw increases in the overall average LPD per 100 employees, compared to FY 2002. The Postal Service’s results reflect changes in its employment structure and technological changes that make returning workers to internal positions increasingly difficult. The “rest of government” average was severely impacted by increases in continuation of pay totals late in the year, especially in the newly formed Department of Homeland Security. It should be noted that Lost Production Days (LPDs) are calculated using employment figures which are provided by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  The totals used for all four quarters of FY 2003 were based on OPM FTE data published in March, July and December 2002. Agency officials interested in reviewing the figures used to compute their respective agency's LPDs, can do so by visiting the OPM Web site or by clicking on this link http://www.opm.gov/feddata/." Also according to DOL the Postal Service made significant improvements in timeliness and accuracy in submitting CA-1, CA-2 & CA-7 Forms  (Form CA-1 if you sustained a traumatic injury, or Form CA-2 if the injury was an occupational disease or illness,CA-7,Claim for Compensation , if you cannot return to work because of your injury or illness ).

Below are excerpts from the reports for USPS:

Forms CA-1, 2 &7 SUBMISSION TIMELINESS REPORT for USPS, Fiscal Year 2003
CA-1/CA-2 Submission Timeline Full Report and  CA-1, CA-2 & Ca-7 Time-Lag Analysis for Oakland, Minneapolis, Houston, Kalamazoo and Brooklyn Total Claims FY 2003 4Q

FY 2003 4Q %

Cumulative FY 2003 %

 Variance 2002 vs. 2003

CA-1 & CA-2 17518 82.5% 79.0% 11.3%    
CA-7 22988 51.6% 49.1% 16.4%    
Federal Injury and Illness Statistics            

Number of Employees

Total Cases


Lost Time Cases

Lost Time Rate

U. S. Postal Service






less cases associated with September 11 and anthrax            

- 446

          - 135   - 2







Safety Gloves To Be Permitted On Automated Equipment

posted 10/6/03

To: Local and State President

      National Business Agents

      Regional Coordinators

      Resident Officers


Fr: Greg Bell, Director

     Industrial Relations


For some time, the APWU has been pursuing a resolution of the issue of wearing gloves on automated equipment. However, we were unable to reach a resolution over this issue with the Postal Service.

At the request of APWU headquarters, OSHA initiated an investigation of the Postal Service's policy of not allowing gloves to be worn around automated equipment. The Postal Service had said that the wearing of gloves around automated equipment presented a serious hazard of hands being caught in the moving parts of the equipment. APWU asserted to OSHA that gloves were necessary to protect members' hands from hazards such as cuts and scrapes and, more importantly, biological and hazardous material present in the mail. APWU further asserted to OSHA that if automated equipment presented a hazard where hands could  come into contact with moving parts of the equipment then there was a serious OSHA violation present related to machine guarding.

As a result of APWU's request, OSHA contacted the Postal Service and conducted an investigational review of postal equipment. Although the union requested to be part of this review, we were denied the opportunity. Nevertheless, the OSHA team concluded that there was no evidence to determine that the use of Nitrile gloves around USPS mail processing equipment contributes to an increase in the number of potential hand injuries. According to the report, "[t] he USPS did not have any accident investigation data pertaining to hand injuries (resulting from gloves being caught in the moving machinery parts) for review by the OSHA team members. Further, there were no USPS near-miss data pertaining to the potential hand injuries."

As a result of OSHA's investigation, the Postal Services issues a memo on September 26, 2003 regarding Nitrile Gloves Usages. The memo states that postal employees are allowed to wear Nitrile gloves while operating nationally deployed automated equipment.

Attached please find copies of the OSHA Report  and the Postal Service's memo. If you have any questions, please contact Corey Thompson, APWU Safety and Health Specialists, at 202-842-4273  

US Dept of Labor

Office of Public Affairs

April 17, 2003
OSHA Contact: Bill Wright


Fact Sheet Offers Information, Assistance on Emergency Escape Routes from the Workplace

WASHINGTON -- Knowing how to escape from one's workplace during an emergency is not just another safety and health issue requiring compliance by employers and consideration by workers. Armed with valid and reliable information, that knowledge can save lives.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed the Emergency Exit Routes (pdf 76k)  fact sheet designed to ensure employers and workers are equipped with that information. The fact sheet augments the agency's standard on exit routes, and emergency action and fire prevention plans.

"No one should need reminding how quickly an event can occur that necessitates emergency evacuation from the workplace," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "The information we've compiled in this fact sheet provides a readily-available tool to aid employers and workers in being prepared to safely evacuate their workplaces should an emergency occur."

Information in the fact sheet not only defines exit routes and explains how many exit routes a worksite should have, but also provides information on how to design an exit route that will ensure safe evacuation for all workers. Also included is a list of required maintenance, safeguarding and operational features for exit routes.

The fact sheet provides information on emergency action plan requirements, detailing the plan's minimum elements, such as procedures for reporting fires and other emergencies, personnel accountability, alarm systems, etc. Minimum provisions and requirements for fire prevention plans are also outlined in the fact sheet. Finally, a list of resources for more details on exit routes and related OSHA standards are provided.

OSHA recently revamped its 30-year-old
standard dealing with exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans, wrapping it in a user-friendlier format with clear, consistent and up-to-date information. Inconsistent and duplicative requirements were replaced with simple, and straightforward terms that aid workers and employers in understanding the important regulation. The revised standard was effective on Dec. 9, 2002.

OSHA, U.S. Postal Service, Postal Unions Establish Strategic Partnership to Reduce Ergonomic Injuries

WASHINGTON, April 4 /Press Release -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the U.S. Postal Service, and unions representing Postal Service workers are teaming up to reduce ergonomic hazards for postal workers at worksites around the nation, announced John L. Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA, the USPS, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU) signed a partnership agreement today to work together to promote early identification of musculoskeletal
disorders (MSDs) and to control ergonomic risk factors for postal employees.

"Under this partnership OSHA, the postal unions, and the Postal Service will all be working together for the good of postal workers," said Henshaw. "It is just this kind of commitment from management and cooperation from unions and employees that we need to help reduce injuries and illnesses related to ergonomics and to assure a safer workplace for employees."

Partnership signatories will establish a national Ergonomic Work Group (EWG) consisting of representatives of USPS, the joint labor-management safety committees of the postal unions, and OSHA to oversee the implementation of the ergonomic risk reduction process. The process will be tested in 10 sites to start; the goal is to expand the program to 30 sites during calendar year 2003. Participating sites, through their respective joint labor-management safety committees, will identify work activities for which ergonomic control processes will be developed, and will identify and make available best practices they have identified to other postal facilities with similar risk of ergonomic injuries.
They will also share these best practices with OSHA for wider dissemination.

Under the terms of the partnership, OSHA will provide certain incentives to those participating USPS sites. OSHA will provide the maximum allowable penalty reductions for ergonomic and other violations as provided for by OSHA regulation. OSHA will also offer deferrals in programmed inspections at partner sites, and will recognize partnership activities and successes. In addition, the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants Association (VPPPA) will help identify mentors from VPP sites that have implemented effective ergonomic programs.

A measurement and evaluation system to measure the program's success in meeting its goals will be established. Offsite and onsite verification methods will also be utilized, including on-site evaluations performed by the Ergonomic Working Group at least twice a year. At least two independent on-site evaluations by OSHA will also be performed each year.

For more information on ergonomics and other successes over the past year, visit www.dol.gov

OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information,

National News Release   USDL 03-120
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999

Labor Secretary Announces Plans to Enhance Enforcement
for Employers Who Defy Safety and Health Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC -- Employers who expose their workers to serious safety and health hazards and who continue to defy worker safety and health regulations, will be subject to an enhanced enforcement policy that Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao is unveiling today.

"The majority of employers in our country consider the health and safety of their workers a priority and strive to do their utmost to ensure their well being," said Chao. "Still, there are those who, despite OSHA's enforcement and outreach efforts, continually disregard their very basic obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This enhanced enforcement policy is meant for them."

OSHA's Enhanced Enforcement Policy will focus on those employers who have received "high gravity" citations. High gravity citations are issued when an employer's violations are considered to be at the highest level of severity.

The policy focuses on five specific areas that will be strengthened: (1) follow-up inspections; (2) programmed inspections; (3) public awareness; (4) settlements; and (5) federal court enforcement. This initiative impacts establishments that received OSHA citations with the highest severity of willful violations, multiple serious violations at the highest level of severity, repeat violations at the originating establishment, failure-to-abate notices, or a serious or willful violation associated with a fatality.

"No worker should be injured or killed on the job and no employer should ignore their responsibility to obey the law," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "This policy will focus on the high gravity violators and will put more tenacity and teeth in our enforcement practices. Our goal is to assure compliance and a safe workplace for all workers."

OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

(OSHA Editor's Note: Program highlights for each of these five areas follows this press release).



(1)Follow-Up Inspections

  • On-site follow-up inspections at all establishments that received an OSHA citation with "high gravity willful violations, multiple high gravity serious violations, repeat violations at the originating establishment, failure-to-abate notices, or a serious or willful violation related to a fatality."

  • OSHA Area Directors may also conduct follow-up inspections at other sites to verify abatement of previously cited violations where there is reason to suspect abatement may not have occurred.


(2) Programmed Inspections

  • OSHA schedules programmed inspections based upon objective or neutral selection criteria through the Site Specific Targeting (SST) process. OSHA, through this initiative, will:
    • begin to record the name of the overall corporate entity during all inspections.

    • prioritize, within the primary and secondary SST list, all facilities under the corporate identity that has been identified as receiving high gravity violations.


(3) Public Awareness

  • For high gravity violations defined above, OSHA will mail a copy of the citation and notification of penalties to the employer's Corporate headquarters.

  • The agency will continue to issue local and national press releases on enforcement actions.


(4) Settlements
OSHA will include, as needed, the following provisions in high gravity violation settlement agreements:

  • Requiring employers to hire consultants to develop a process to change the safety and health culture in the facility.

  • Applying the agreement corporate-wide.

  • Including information on other job sites of the employer.

  • Requiring employers to report to OSHA any serious injury/illness that requires outside medical care, and consenting to OSHA inspections based on the report.

    Including language that the employer consents to entry of a court enforcement order under Section 11(b) of the OSH Act.


(5) Section 11(b) Summary Enforcement Orders

  • As appropriate, OSHA will apply to Federal courts of appeal for orders summarily enforcing the citations under Section 11(b) of the OSH Act. This includes citations that have been settled or have otherwise become final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

  • In those cases in which an 11(b) order has been entered and the employer remains noncompliant, OSHA will seek contempt of court sanctions.


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