Postal Service mail processing facilities do not consistently meet prescribed building safety, maintenance, or security standards, says an IG report warning of the potential “risk of injury to employees and customers.”
An audit identified 282 deficiencies at the 32 facilities reviewed—randomly selected from the nearly 300 such facilities—ranging from “minor oversight infractions” to more serious violations that would be subject to fines by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in an OSHA review. That included:
* 145 deficiencies at 27 facilities related to safety, including blocked fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, exit doors and electrical panels and fire extinguishers not inspected as required;
* 68 deficiencies at 24 facilities related to maintenance, including severely damaged roofing, ceilings, and infrastructure, rodent problems and unsanitary bathrooms; and
* 69 deficiencies at 27 facilities related to security, including unsecure vehicles, non-functioning security cameras, and unsecure perimeter fences.
At one facility, “building safety deficiencies were so severe that we escalated the issues to Postal Service leadership while on-site. Subsequently, the Postal Service contracted with an engineering firm to complete a structural evaluation” which recommended repairs.
Underlying issues included “facility personnel not conducting required safety reviews and housekeeping inspections, and facilities not having the authorized complement of maintenance employees on the rolls.” In some cases where corrective actions are taken they are inadequate, it added.