Safety Tips for all Postal Workers
All workers of the United States Postal Service are encouraged to practice safety precautions in the performance of their work. If you’re new to the Postal Service, you will no doubt be reminded of this fact during your trainings. But when the pressures of the work get under your skin, it becomes too easy to forget all these precautions. So be sure to ingrain these into your system so that it forms a natural part of your day-to-day operations.
The most common postal worker injury has to do with the day-to-day requirements of the job which involve heavy lifting, carrying, loading, unloading, and continuous hours of walking. Thus, you need to protect yourself against slips and falls by wearing shoes that fit and are appropriate for the type of postal job you are assigned to. Learn to walk correctly so you minimize the strain on your back and feet.
It is also important that you know how to carry and lift heavy packages to decrease your chances of back injuries and pains. The proper body mechanics of lifting heavy objects involves bending your knees with your feet shoulder-width apart but keeping your back straight. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs—that means that your strength must come from your legs to prevent excessive force in the spine which can lead to nasty back injuries.
Postal workers are a common target for vicious dogs. This is a common fact. Naturally protective, these canines are often faster than their human masters and if the gate is open, you may find yourself under attack. To prevent these life-threatening events, put the letter in the mailbox instead of giving it to the recipient when the dog is around so that the canine will not think that you are attacking his master. If no one is around and there is no mailbox and a dog is snarling at you, just back away slowly without making eye contact. USPS regulations allow letter carriers not to deliver mail when there are threatening animals around.
Since you are going to be working in the outdoors, you also need to protect yourself from another type of bite which may seem less threatening at first. But mosquito and other insect bites can also cause diseases and allergies. Rub on mosquito repellent before leaving the house so you won’t be susceptible to these little creatures.
Finally, always follow all Postal Service rules and regulations on driving postal vehicles. Constantly be aware of the pedestrians and other vehicles on your route is important in accident prevention. You should check the vehicle before you drive in it so that you know that its brakes and other parts are in order. Make sure that you engage the brakes when the vehicle is not in motion or when you’re not in the van.