GREENSBORO, N.C (WGHP) — A mechanic’s arm was amputated after working with a machine that did not have a safety guard at a U.S. Postal Service facility in Greensboro, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“The U.S. Postal Service ignored long-established safety standards and put workers at risk,” said OSHA Area Director Kimberley Morton in Raleigh. “The USPS has an obligation to eliminate hazards to ensure safe working conditions and prevent another worker from suffering a tragic and life-altering injury.”
On Sept. 27, a mechanic at the USPS Greensboro Network Distribution Center suffered a “life-changing” injury, according to the USDOL. The department says this facility is “a bulk mail processing and distribution center where a programmable network of heavy conveyor lines and other systems handles packages for delivery. “
The worker reportedly made contact with a machine that was supposed to have a safety guard, but that safety guard had been removed. As a result, the worker’s arm was amputated.
The injury led to an inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which allegedly uncovered repeat and serious safety violations, including failure to make sure safety guards were in place.
USDOL reports that staff was not trained in how to safely work near conveyors or using “lockout/tagout” safety measures.
The facility also allegedly allowed unqualified workers without the proper training or protective gear to test live electrical equipment.
OSHA issued two serious and two repeat citations, adding up to a possible $170,918 in fines.
The postal service has 15 business days after receiving the list of citations to make changes, set up an informal meeting with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings.