Winter is back in full swing, bringing significant snow and ice to the Upper Midwest. That means slippery surfaces, which can be dangerous and costly for homeowners, as well as for their visitors -- including their letter carrier. By clearing a path when the snow arrives, accidents can be prevented.
“We need our customers’ help,” said Northland District Manager Anthony Williams. “Letter carriers have hurt their knees or backs, or even suffered broken bones from falls on slippery surfaces.”
Letter carriers are advised to use good judgment when attempting to deliver to addresses where ice and snow are not cleared. They are not allowed to dismount to make curb deliveries when the approach to the mailbox is hazardous because of snow or ice.
“No one wants to inconvenience the customer,” Williams added. “But we must ensure the safety of our employees.”
- Customers are asked to clear enough snow from curbside boxes -- at least six feet on both sides of the mailbox -- so the carrier may approach and leave without backing up his or her vehicle.
- Walkways need to be cleared so as to allow enough traction to avoid slips, trips and falls.
- Steps – especially painted wood -- must be kept clear of ice and snow and in good repair.
- Overhangs must be clear and free of snow and ice to avoid injury.
“Prevention is the best way to avoid injuries,” Williams concluded. “Please help your letter carrier provide you with the best possible service – safely.”
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