USPS Workers' Compensation Benefits Go a Long Way Toward Helping Postal Employees Who are Hurt on the Job
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), enacted in 1916, provides medical, compensation, death and other benefits to federal employees who have been injured on the job. Many such injuries and illnesses are sustained by United States Postal Service (USPS) workers.
This makes sense when you consider that each year USPS mail carriers deliver to about 132 million places, according to statistics from the Government Accountability Office, sustaining an average of 34,000 injuries annually. USPS Workers' Compensation benefits are vital for an injured postal worker and his or her family.
Common USPS Worker Injuries
The jobs of those who work for the USPS are physically demanding and highly repetitve in nature. The following are among the most common injuries sustained by USPS workers:
- Repetitive Motion Injuries—Though their jobs are different, mail carriers and mail handlers/clerks suffer due to the repetivie nature of their work. Carriers usually carry their mail bags on the the same shoulder as they walk their route day after day. Whereas handlers sort mail, lift boxes and push heavy containers with the same motions shift after shift. A body's nerves, muscles and tendons can be harmed from such repetition and exertion, causing back, shoulder, and rotator cuff injuiries as well as carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Dog Bites—According to USPS reports, approximately 6,000 postal employees are attacked by dogs throughout the nation each year. And, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20 percent of the dog attacks cause injuires serious enough to require medical treatment, including reconstructive surgery. "Dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handing mail to their owner as a threat," according to USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo. USPS statistics place Los Angeles among the top 10 cities in the nation for attacks on postal workers by dogs.
- Slips and Falls—When you consider that mail carriers cover plenty of ground in a single shift in all kinds of weather—rain, snow, sleet, hail—and dangerous sufaces--uneven sidewalks and potholed streets, —it's no wonderf they trip, slip and fall often. And then there are the poorly maintained and/or lighted stairs at residences, businesses and even the Post Office that can cause injuries.
- Motor Vehicle Accidents—Whether mail carriers use a vehicle to cover park-and-loop routes or deliver directly to mailboxes on the sides of the road on rural or suburban routes, they are at the mercy of other drivers—and weather and road conditions-- for long periods of time during each shift, increasing their chances for an accident.
A Federal USPS Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help
USPS workers provide a vital service that, unfortunately, often puts them in harm's way. When postal workers are injured on the job, it is imperative that they be informed of all the benefits to which they are entitled under the Federal Employee's Compensation Act programs.
Having an experienced, knowledgeable Federal USPS Workers' Compensation attorney on their side is the best way to ensure their rights will be upheld. The same is true for other federal employees, such as those working for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Border Patrol, the Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration and so many others.