New year focus

In his latest video message, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy thanks employees for their efforts during the holiday season and previews 2021 for USPS.

The organization delivered record mail and package volume in December while also dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeJoy also asks employees to set a new tone to help USPS better serve the public.

“We will soon begin a process to deliver a Postal Service of the future that will deliver affordable and dependable service to the American public in a self-sustaining business manner,” he says.

The video, released Jan. 4, is available on Link and other postal websites and will be shown to employees throughout the organization this week.

Reap the rewards

Priority Mail boxes

The Postal Service has updated the USPS Loyalty Program, adding three tiers that allow registered businesses to earn credits on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express products purchased through Click-N-Ship.

Registered businesses must use the Click-N-Ship application on usps.com to earn the credits, which can be put toward future purchases of Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express products.

There are no limits to the amount of credits that can be earned.

“The USPS Loyalty Program helps us reward our valued business customers and provide them with an incentive to continue turning to the Postal Service for all their shipping and mailing needs,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at Postal Service headquarters in Washington, DC.

The first-of-its-kind program, which launched last year, uses the following three tiers:

• Base. Existing USPS customers are automatically enrolled in this tier, earning $40 in credits for each $500 spent in qualifying Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express products.

• Silver. Business users that reach $10,000 worth of Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express labels purchases in the prior calendar year earn $50 in credits for each $500 spent.

• Gold. Business users with $20,000 purchased on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express labels in the prior calendar year will have access to commercial base pricing, with up to 20 percent savings, on their Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipments.

New Click-N-Ship business customers are also eligible for a one-time $40 “welcome bonus” credit when they ship at least $500 combined at Priority Mail Express Retail and Priority Mail Retail rates.

The USPS Loyalty Program page on usps.com has additional information.

In review

The Postal Service delivered 129.2 billion mailpieces to 161 million addresses across the nation during fiscal year 2020, the organization says in its Annual Report to Congress.

The report, which USPS published last month, covers the period from Oct. 1, 2019-Sept. 30, 2020.

In addition to an overview of the organization’s finances, the 64-page document includes a performance report and plan, as well as a message from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, that addresses the Postal Service’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and other challenges.

The report is available on usps.com’s About USPS page.

Walk carefully

The Postal Service wants employees to take precautions when walking in winter weather.

Snowy and icy conditions increase the likelihood of slips, trips and falls that could result in pain, injury and lost productivity. To avoid these accidents, employees should follow these tips:

• Wear proper footwear with good tread and grippers (ice cleats);
• Walk with care and take short steps;
• Only finger mail when it is safe to do so;
• Take extra precautions when entering and exiting your vehicle;
• Use handrails on steps; and
• Wait for vehicles to stop completely on snow- or ice-covered roadways before crossing a street.

The Safety Blue page has more information, including Safety Depends on Me videos on working in winter weather.

Don’t be blindsided

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to learn more about the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the eye’s optic nerve, which can cause vision loss and blindness.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common type of glaucoma in the United States is open-angle glaucoma, which is usually asymptomatic.

Anyone can get glaucoma, but certain groups are at higher risk, including people who are 60 and older, African Americans who are 40 and older, those with a family history of the disease, and individuals who have diabetes.

Many people with glaucoma experience high eye pressure that develops slowly. Only 50 percent of these people know they have the condition.

Vision loss from glaucoma generally affects peripheral vision first (what you can see on the side when looking ahead) and central vision later (what you can see straight ahead).

Glaucoma is detected by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Once discovered, treatment can slow the disease’s progression and save remaining vision; however, lost vision cannot be restored.

Glaucoma is treated with eye drops, medicine, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of options.

Without treatment, glaucoma can cause blindness. There is no cure, but early detection, treatment and management are crucial measures to prevent damage and protect your vision.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and USPS January Wellness Toolkit websites have more information on glaucoma.