Leading the nation

More Americans have a favorable opinion of the Postal Service than any other government agency, a new survey has found.

The Pew Research Center conducted the poll from Sept. 5-16, asking 2,004 U.S. adults their views about 16 agencies.

The results, released Oct. 1, show 90 percent of respondents have a favorable view of USPS.

“The American people appreciate the work of the Postal Service and its employees, as this new survey demonstrates,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “With every business, mailbox and doorstep we visit, we provide the nation with a vital delivery service. I thank our employees for their continued dedication to our mission.”

The Postal Service’s rating has climbed steadily during Pew’s five previous surveys on public sentiment toward government agencies, going back to 2010, when 83 percent of respondents had a favorable view of USPS.

The other agencies in the top five of Pew’s latest survey are the National Park Service (viewed favorably by 86 percent of respondents), NASA (81 percent), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (80 percent) and the FBI (70 percent).

In a similar survey by Gallup this year, USPS ranked first among 13 agencies, with nearly 3 in 4 Americans saying the organization does an “excellent” or “good” job.

Safety Leadership and Vision Awards

Two people shaking hands.

The Postal Service is launching an awards program to identify and showcase districts that exceed requirements in maintaining safe workplaces.

The Safety Leadership and Vision Awards are part of the Safety Intervention and Recognition Program, which USPS introduced this year to monitor, assist and recognize safety performance in order to drive implementation of best practices throughout the organization.

The new annual awards will honor the top six districts that achieve results, based on criteria such as reducing accident rates and improving performance compared to the same period one year earlier.

“These awards will honor districts that maintain safe work environments and establish a vision for what safety should be. Their efforts will place them in the top echelon of safety leadership nationwide,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo.

The first awardees will be notified and recognized in October at a ceremony at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. The Postal Service will share each honoree’s best practices so others can implement them.

“Great leaders are the backbone of a strong safety culture,” said DeCarlo. “Be one of the leaders recognized for making a positive contribution in keeping the workplace safe and making a difference in the lives of our employees.”

Employees with questions can email the USPS headquarters safety team.

Military honor

The Postal Service will release its Purple Heart Medal stamp Friday, Oct. 4.

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to members of the military who have been wounded or killed in action.

According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is “the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier.”

The award was established by then-Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War and called the Badge of Military Merit, consisting of a heart made of purple cloth. It was discontinued after the war.

In 1932, on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth, the decoration was reinstated and redesigned as a purple heart of metal bordered by gold, suspended from a purple and white ribbon. In the center of the medal is a profile of Washington beneath his family coat of arms.

The new stamp, a redesigned version of a 2012 Purple Heart Medal stamp, features a purple border matching the brilliant purple of the medal and its ribbon.

Ira Wexler photographed the medal, while William J. Gicker served as art director and Bryan Duefrene designed the stamp.

The stamp will be available in sheets of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

Honoring firefighters

In honor of firefighters who have died in the line of duty, postal facilities that fly the flag at all times, and those that are open Sundays, should fly the flag at half-staff Sunday, Oct. 6, which is National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service Day.

USPS facilities that fly the flag at all times and are closed Sunday should lower the flag to half-staff when the facility closes prior to National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service Day. Return the flag to full staff when the facility next opens for business.

To fly the flag at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

For additional information, refer to the Postal Service’s guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance.

In the cards

Here’s Link’s latest “News Quiz,” a weekly feature that invites readers to test their knowledge of recent stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. True or false: More than 3.4 billion greeting cards were mailed in the 12-month period that ended Sept. 30, 2018, reflecting a 2.3 percent increase during a three-year period.

a) True
b) False

2. Which shipping label was recently updated to make it more visible to Postal Service employees who process packages containing cremated remains?

a) Label 136
b) Label 137
c) Label 138
d) Label 139

3. Fill in the blanks: (Blank) represents more than 210,000 USPS employees nationwide, while (blank) represents approximately 43,000 employees.

a) National Association of Letter Carriers, National Postal Mail Handlers Union
b) National Association of Letter Carriers, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association
c) National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Association of Letter Carriers
d) National Postal Mail Handlers Union, National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association

4. Customers can use the USPS Hold Mail service to place their mail on hold for how long?

a) 2-7 days
b) 3-30 days
c) 30-60 days
d) 60-90 days

5. What’s the name of contemporary holiday stamps that USPS will release this fall?

a) Holiday Doors
b) Holiday Wreaths
d) Winter Wreaths
c) Winter Berries

Answers: 1) b. More than 2.3 billion cards were mailed during this period, representing a 3.4 percent increase during the previous three years. 2) d. 3) a. 4) b. 5) b.

Look for a new quiz next week and share your feedback with Link at uspslink@usps.gov.