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OSHA News Brief

February 7, 2023


US Department of Labor cites US Postal Service for failing to provide running water, usable bathroom at Chesapeake facility for more than a month

Employer: U.S. Postal Service
1103 Godwin Ave.
Chesapeake, Virginia 23324

Citations Issued: One serious violation and one repeat violation

Investigative Findings: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an inspection at the U.S. Postal Service's Chesapeake facility on Aug. 30, 2022, responding to an allegation that the employer did not provide potable water to the facility or an operating bathroom.

OSHA inspectors learned the Postal Service had not paid water and sanitation bills dating back to February 2022, which resulted in late payment fees. In July 2022, the water supply was shut off for non-payment and was not returned to service until the day after OSHA's inspection. Inspectors determined the facility made an employee work there without running water or a usable bathroom for more than a month.

Proposed penalties: $13,840

Quote: "Employers must ensure a safe and healthful workplace by making sure workers have access to water for drinking and sanitation," explained OSHA Area Director Brian Rizzo in Norfolk, Virginia. "U.S. Postal Service management responsible for this facility should have acted more quickly to protect employee health."

Background: The USPS has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101,

Release Number:  23-221-PHI