With the arrival of winter weather and the potential of substantial snow and icy conditions, the Postal Service is asking local customers to help clear a path free of snow and ice for the safe delivery of mail by letter carriers.
"We want to assure there are no delays in mail delivery caused by carriers being unable to approach mailboxes safely," said Columbus Postal District Manager Joshua Colin. Letter carriers are advised to not risk a vehicle accident or a fall if access to a mailbox is not free of snow or ice. In those cases, mail may be returned and delivery reattempted the next day.
The removal of trash cans, snow, vehicles and any other objects from areas leading to mailboxes allow carriers to deliver mail safely. Injuries of letter carriers -- primarily from slips, trips and falls -- increase during winter months. Last winter's heavy snow conditions saw injuries from falls substantially increase.
Safety Specialist Brian Hawkins said winter falls take their toll on employees. "Injuries from falls bring much pain and suffering and can be life-changing events for our carriers," he said. Many carriers suffer disabling fractures that require extensive medical attention."
"Our chief concern is for the safety of our employees," said Colin who also said customers can help limit injuries and assure their mail gets through by:
- Clearing snow from curbside boxes to allow mail trucks to approach and drive away without the need for backing.
- Clearing walkways of snow and ice and provide traction on steps and porches, especially painted ones.
- Clearing overhangs to avoid falling ice and dripping water that can freeze into icy patches.