With the start of the winter season just weeks away, the Postal Service wants employees to be aware of potential hazards posed by wet, icy and uneven surfaces.
USPS National Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Week is the organization’s annual campaign to raise awareness of how uneven surfaces or distracted walking can lead to injuries.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention Deserves Your Attention” and runs Nov. 15-21.
“Whether at work or at home, we all have to be aware of our surroundings and our footing. No one wants to miss out on the fun things in life due to a preventable fall,” said Linda DeCarlo, occupational safety and health senior director.
The organization recently sent facilities campaign information and a schedule of employee activities.
Approximately 17,800 Postal Service employees were victims of slip, trip or fall incidents in 2020. These incidents account for 34 percent of the organization’s reported industrial accidents.
More than 78 percent of slip, trip and fall injuries involved carrier crafts. Most of the accidents involve stepping onto a curb or on uneven sidewalks; others slipped on wet surfaces.
Employees also fell when they missed steps while exiting postal vehicles, didn’t use handrails on stairs or stepped into a hole in a customer’s yard.
Inattention was a common factor in most incidents.
Almost half of the injuries resulted after employees were at least one day away from work.
The Postal Service also wants employees to be diligent about examining their work areas for potential hazards, which should be reported to supervisors by using PS Form 1767, Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice.
Supervisors are encouraged to be proactive in preventing slips, trips and falls by documenting unsafe practices, conditions and removing reported hazards in the workplace.