USPS Retail Facility Conditions Raise Safety Concerns

IG auditors at the Postal Service have said they now midway through a national review of conditions at retail facilities and “we’re finding appearance problems as well as potential safety and security issues in many retail facilities throughout the country.”

Of particular focus are postal lobbies, which as the only parts of postal facilities that the public normally sees are the “lens through which the customer views the brand,” a summary of the work in progress says. Each of the three reports on regions released so far found appearance problems, roof and lighting issues, security concerns, and safety issues for employees and customers, it said.

Some of the problems involved landlords in leased space failing to perform or complete requested repairs. “In other cases, management didn’t address deficiencies due to budget constraints. Also, local management didn’t always give high priority to cleaning, general maintenance, or repairs, nor to concerns for health, safety, and security. Local customer complaints were not logged, and posters about safety and security were not always displayed,” it said.

“How did things get this way? In general, because of competing priorities and local management’s failure to focus on cleaning, general maintenance, and repairs. In addition, employees of one district office did not use a safety checklist as required and no district office conducted facility security checks. Management didn’t address other deficiencies due to budget constraints or the lessor’s refusal to perform requested repairs,” it said.

After finishing reviews of retail space the IG will begin assessments of other facilities.