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Region 5 News Release: 10-605-CHI
May 10, 2010
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976
Email: allenscott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines US Postal Service processing center in Bedford Park, Ill., $210,000 for willful safety violations

CHICAGO. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited the U.S. Postal Service with three alleged willful violations at its Bedford Park, Ill., processing center. The Postal Service faces a total of $210,000 in fines, for electrical and protective equipment hazards, following an OSHA inspection conducted in response to employee complaints.

OSHA's inspection, which began in November 2009, found that the Postal Service failed to provide required electrical safety training for its workers; to ensure workers used safety-related work practices while working on electrical equipment; and to provide workers with appropriate personal protective equipment while working on energized equipment. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

"These sizable fines reflect the severity and ongoing nature of these hazards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. "The Postal Service ignored long-established safety standards and knowingly put its workers in harm's way."

Within the past five years, OSHA has conducted more than 900 inspections at USPS facilities across the country and has issued more than 600 citations. The Bedford Park location has more than 800 employees and has received several OSHA citations during the past four years.

The company 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. This inspection was conducted by OSHA's Calumet City Area Office; telephone 708-891-3800. To report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.


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