The United States Postal Service is sponsoring its first National Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Week (October 26 – November 1, 2019), a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility to help prevent carrier injuries. On an average day, 51 United States Postal Service mail carriers will experience a fall while working. The Postal Service reports that last year, 18,684 carriers experienced a fall at work.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention
Last year, most slip, trip, and fall incidents involved mail carriers. More than half resulted in at least one day away from work.
How Carriers Can Avoid a Slip, Trip, or Fall
- Wear proper footwear. Keep your feet warm and dry. Choose high-traction, slip-resistant footwear.
- Stay away from slippery surfaces. Avoid wet leaves or icy areas whenever possible. Shorten your steps and shuffle your feet when near slippery surfaces. You are not required to risk personal injury from icy steps.
- Be alert. Finger mail only when it is safe to do so. Always remain focused, alert, and ready to react to the conditions in front of you.
- Use handrails or other stable supports, when available. Holding on to something keeps you steady when ascending and descending stairs or entering and exiting vehicles. Keep one hand on the handrail or grab bar, so you can catch yourself if you start to slip.
- Report hazards. Be diligent about examining your path for hazards. Use PS Form 1767, Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice, to report a hazard to your supervisor. Alert replacement carriers to any hazardous conditions by completing PS Form 1766, Hazard Warning Card.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Tips for Mail Customers
To ensure mail carriers’ safety, the Postal Service requests that all residents and business owners identify and correct hazards on their properties. Here are four simple tips to prevent slips, trips, and falls by mail carriers and others on private property year round:
1. Inspect the path
Walk the path your carrier takes along your property to identify hazards. This may be an entrance you useless often, and you may not realize there is a hazard present. Replace doormats that roll up along the edges, and use rubber-backed mats to prevent them from sliding. Ensure there is adequate lighting along the walking path.
2. Repair hazards
Cracks in steps and porches, loose railings, uneven sidewalk joints, and loose bricks or blocks in the walkway happen over time and water is one of the main culprits. Check drainage slopes and look for pooling areas to help prevent icy spots in the winter. Make repairs as quickly as possible. If you are unable to make the repair, block off the area or add paint to an uneven surface to bring attention to it.
3. Control slippery surfaces
Leaves, rain, and ice can pose serious fall hazards. Keep leaves off walking paths, use sand in the paint for traction on porches, and clear ice and snow from the path your carrier takes.
4. Stay informed
Customers with access to postal notification features, such as Informed Delivery for letter mail and package tracking, are encouraged to use these features to determine if mail is expected that day. If so, make sure a path has been cleared for the carrier to make a safe delivery, even on the weekend.
(Source: USPS Postal Bulletin)