Dog bites, slips and falls and motor vehicle accidents were among the most frequent causes of injuries involving workers with the U.S. Postal Service in 2012.
According to data released by the Government Accountability Office, postal workers had an injury and illness rate of 5.44 for every 100 workers in 2012, a decline from the previous year. In 2011, the rate was approximately 5.67 injuries for every 100 workers. However, the rate of injuries among postal workers is much higher than the national average. In 2011, the national average work injury rate was 3.5.
The Government Accountability Office report also finds that workers’ compensation costs for postal workers increased from $2.2 billion in 2009 to $3.7 billion in 2012. In 2012, there were a total of 32,213 reported workplace injuries involving postal workers.
Most injuries involving postal workers came from falls and dog bites. Falls to the ground were the leading injuries that resulted in days away from work. The No. 1 cause of long-term occupational illnesses involving postal workers was repetitive motion.
The risk to mail carriers from dog bites has already been well documented. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service regularly issues warnings to homeowners, requesting them to restrain their pets, especially when the mail is expected. In spite of this, however, postal workers continue to be at high risk for dog bites.