Safety & Health

APWU

Safety & Health Department

Clerks Division

The Director of Safety & Health is assigned the responsibility for the health and safety of all divisions and offices of the Local. Article 14 of the National Agreement requires management to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees covered by the agreement. To achieve this end, the contract provides for the establishment of joint safety and health committees at various levels throughout the Postal Service. 

The Director of Safety & Health is assigned the responsibility for the health and safety of all divisions and offices of the Local. Article 14 of the National Agreement requires management to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees covered by the agreement. To achieve this end, the contract provides for the establishment of joint safety and health committees at various levels throughout the Postal Service. 

The Collective Bargaining Agreement also provides for a Joint Labor-Management Safety and Health Committee at each postal installation that has 50 or more employees. In installations that have fewer than 50 employees, installation heads are encouraged to establish similar committees when requested by the Union. Where no safety and health committee exist, safety and health items may be placed on the agenda and discussed at labor-management meetings.

There are currently Joint Safety Committees for the San Diego P&DC, the San Diego City Stations and we are currently trying to establish a District Joint Safety & Health Committee to address safety concerns across the entire district so as to include smaller rural offices.

The form that is used to report an unsafe working condition in your work area is the PS Form 1767. These forms should be available at any time to employees.

 

Contract

SAFETY AND HEALTH

Section 1. Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of management to provide safe working conditions in all present and future installations and to develop a safe working force. The Union will cooperate with and assist management to live up to this responsibility. The Employer will meet with the Union on a semiannual basis and inform the Union of its automated systems development programs. The Employer also agrees to give appropriate consideration to human factors in the design and development of automated systems. Human factors and ergonomics of new automated systems are a proper subject for discussion at the National Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee. 

Section 2. Cooperation

The Employer and the Union insist on the observance of safe rules and safe procedures by employees and insist on correction of unsafe conditions. Mechanization, vehicles and vehicle equipment, and the work place must be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition, including adequate occupational health and environmental conditions. 

The Employer shall make available at each installation the appropriate forms to be used by employees in reporting unsafe and unhealthful conditions. 

If an employee believes he/she is being required to work under unsafe conditions, such employees may: 

(a) notify such employee’s supervisor who will immediately investigate the condition and take corrective action if necessary; 

(b) notify such employee’s steward, if available, who may discuss the alleged unsafe condition with such employee’s supervisor; 

(c) file a grievance at Step 2 of the grievance procedure within fourteen (14) days of notifying such employee’s supervisor if no corrective action is taken during the employee’s tour; and/or 

(d) make a written report to the Union representative from the Local Safety and Health Committee who may discuss the report with such employee’s supervisor. 

Upon written request of the employee involved in an accident, a copy of the PS Form 1769 (Accident Report) will be provided. Any grievance filed in accordance with Section 2(c) above which is not resolved at Step 2 may only be appealed to the Local Safety and Health Committee for discussion and decision or may be appealed directly to arbitration within 21 days after receipt of the Employer’s Step 2 decision. Any such appeal to the Safety and Health Committee must be made within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the Employer’s Step 2 decision unless the parties agree to extend the time for appeal. The Committee shall meet to discuss the grievance at the next regularly scheduled Safety Article 14.3.A 71 and Health Committee meeting. 

Any grievance not resolved by the Committee may be appealed directly to arbitration within 21 days of the Committee’s review. If appealed to the regularly scheduled Local Safety and Health Committee, the parties representatives shall be prepared to present the issue to the Committee with their assessment and resolution. Any grievance which has as its subject a safety or health issue directly affecting an employee(s) which is subsequently properly appealed to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of Article 15 may be placed at the head of the appropriate arbitration docket at the request of the Union.

OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), seeks to make workplaces safer and healthier by making and enforcing regulations called standards in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Act, established in 1970 under the Nixon Administration, itself establishes only one workplace standard. It is called the “general duty standard.” The general duty standard states: “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

OSHA Standards

PART 1904 – Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

 Subpart A — Purpose.

The purpose of this rule (part 1904) is to require employers to record and report work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.

Note to § 1904.0: Recording or reporting a work-related injury, illness, or fatality does not mean that the employer or employee was at fault, that an OSHA rule has been violated, or that the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation or other benefits.

PART 1910 – Occupational Safety and Health Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established by the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970, which took effect in 1971. OSHA’s mission is to ensure that every working man and woman in the nation is employed under safe and healthful working conditions. OSHA is an administrative agency within the United States Department of Labor and is therefore administered by an assistant secretary of labor.

USPS ELM- 811.1 Authority

The Postal Service™ is subject to Public Law Number 91–596, the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, pursuant to the Postal Employees Safety Enhancement Act (PESEA) of 1998. The OSH Act provides for citations, penalties, and criminal referrals for those employers who fail to comply. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for promulgating and enforcing standards and regulations under the OSH Act.