USPS Workers and Letter Carriers Need PPE

EAST LANSDOWNE, PA — Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon led a letter to United States Postal Service Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan inquiring about access and distribution of safety supplies to postal workers and letter carriers during COVID-19.

Recent media reports have noted shortages of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaners, masks and gloves at postal facilities across the country.

“I have confirmed through personal observation, conversations with stakeholders and social media posts that such shortages exist at many USPS facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania,” Congresswoman Scanlon wrote.

“Throughout the duration of our nation’s response to this pandemic, USPS employees have remained steadfast in their commitment to their work,” she continued. “Knowing that the mail will be delivered reliably day in and day out is vital to the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans, and it is critical that we protect those affording us these services with the equipment required to work safely.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standard guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), generally requiring gloves, eye and face protection, and when necessary, respiratory protection. While OSHA has not yet released PPE-related guidance specific to COVID-19, the OSHA regulation should reasonably be applied to occupational hazards faced by USPS employees during this pandemic.

“We must ensure that postal workers have the PPE necessary to safely perform their jobs and protect the public,” Congresswoman Scanlon said.

A copy of the letter can be found below.

Dear Ms. Brennan:

I write to address continuing concerns about whether the United States Postal Service (USPS) is able to access and distribute sufficient supplies to postal workers and letter carriers to protect these essential public servants and the public against COVID-19. Recent media reports have noted shortages of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and cleaners, masks and gloves at postal facilities across the country. I have confirmed through personal observation, conversations with stakeholders and social media posts that such shortages exist at many USPS facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Throughout the duration of our nation’s response to this pandemic, USPS employees have remained steadfast in their commitment to their work. Knowing that the mail will be delivered reliably day in and day out is vital to the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans, and it is critical that we protect those affording us these services with the equipment required to work safely.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standard guidelines for personal Protective Equipment (PPE), generally requiring gloves, eye and face protection, and when necessary, respiratory protection.[1] While OSHA has not yet released PPE-related guidance specific to COVID-19, the OSHA regulation should reasonably be applied to occupational hazards faced by USPS employees during this pandemic.[2] To that end, my constituents and I would greatly appreciate an accounting of all post offices and postal facilities located within Pennsylvania’s Fifth Congressional District that lack essential supplies covered under OSHA’s PPE standard, including face masks, gloves, and respiratory protection. Further, I request that you include in this accounting whether supplies such as hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, and any additional cleaning equipment needed to clean USPS-operated locations is available at each such location.

I am ready to assist USPS and advocate on behalf of its employees to ensure that postal workers have the PPE necessary to safely perform their jobs and protect the public. I greatly appreciate your attention to this urgent matter. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any suggestions or questions related to this request.

Sincerely,

Mary Gay Scanlon, Member of Congress

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Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.

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Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.

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