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Occupational Safety and Health Programs

Effective September 14, 2006, Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), 821.133, Notifying the Safety Office of Controverted Claims, and 822.12, Reporting Requirements for Installation Heads, are revised. The text and title of 821.133 are deleted, and the section is marked "reserved" to remove references to obsolete recordkeeping-requirements. Section 822.12 is revised to align with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.

Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM)

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8 Safety and Health

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820 Reports and Investigations, Program Evaluations, and Inspections

821 Actions in the Event of Accident, Injury, or Illness

821.1 Injury, Illness, and Accident Reporting

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821.13 Reporting Using PS Form 1769

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[Revise 822.133 to read as follows:]

821.133 [Reserved]

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822 Supplementary Actions in the Event of Serious Accidents, Including Fatalities

822.1 Reporting Serious Accidents

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[Revise title and text of 822.12 to read as follows:]

822.12 Reporting Requirements for Installation Heads

In the event of a fatality, amputation, mutilation, or OSHA reportable accident (see 822.11b) performance cluster manger must, within 8 hours, report the accident by telecommunications (FAX/e-mail) to the area Human Resources manager and Headquarters Safety Performance Management. The report must use the following format:

a. The installation head must report all serious accidents to the performance cluster district manager by COB the day of the accident.

b. The installation head, after consultation with the servicing safety office, must report orally (by telephone or in person) to the nearest OSHA area office within 8 hours the following:

(1) Any accident that is fatal to one or more employees.

Note: Employers must report all fatal heart attacks occurring in the work environment, whether OSHA recordable or not (OSHA 1904.39(b)(5)).

(2) Any accident that results in in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees.

(3) Any fatality or hospitalization of three or more employees that occurs within 30 days of an accident.

c. The report to OSHA should relate the following information:

(1) Name of the establishment.

(2) Location of the incident.

(3) Time of the incident.

(4) Number of fatalities or hospitalized employees.

(5) Names of any injured employees.

(6) Postal Service contact person and his or her telephone number.

(7) Brief description of the incident.

d. The installation head is not required to report:

(1) Motor vehicle accidents that occur in public streets, except those in construction work zones (OSHA 1904.39(b)(3)).

(2) Commercial airplane, train, subway, or bus accidents (OSHA 1904.39(b)(4)).

e. The installation head must provide records within 4 business hours to an OSHA compliance officer who requests them (OSHA 1904.40(a)).

f. The installation head must promptly report to the appropriate union:

(1) Any employee fatality.

(2) Any serious industrial, noncriminal accident or injury.

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We will incorporate these revisions to the ELM into the next printed version and the online version, available on the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site:

• Go to

• Under "Essential Links" in the left-hand column, click on References.

• Under "References" in the right-hand column, under "Policies," click on PolicyNet.

• Click on Manuals for the ELM.

(The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site is

The ELM is also available on the Internet:

• Go to

• Click on About USPS and News, then Forms and Publications, then Postal Periodicals and Publications, and then Manuals for the Employee and Labor Relations Manual.

— Safety and Environmental Performance Management,
Employee Resource Management, 9-14-06

Election Campaigns — Hatch Act and Other Requirements

Hatch Act Requirements for Postal Service Employees

The Hatch Act affects some political activities, including off-duty activities, for Postal Service™ employees. The Office of Special Counsel, which investigates possible Hatch Act violations, has prepared examples of permitted and prohibited activities for federal, including Postal Service, employees:

Postal Service employees may:

• Be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections.

• Register and vote as they choose.

• Assist in voter registration drives.

• Express opinions about candidates and issues.

• Contribute money to political organizations.

• Attend political fundraising functions.

• Attend and be active at political rallies and meetings.

• Join and be an active member of a political party or club.

• Sign nominating petitions.

• Campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, and municipal ordinances.

• Campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections.

• Make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections.

• Distribute campaign literature in partisan elections.

• Hold office in political clubs or parties.

But, Postal Service employees may not:

• Be candidates for public office in partisan elections.

• Use their official authority or influence to interfere with an election.

• Collect political contributions unless both individuals are members of the same federal labor organization or employee organization and the one solicited is not a subordinate employee.

• Knowingly solicit or discourage the political activity of any person who has business before the agency.

• Engage in political activity while on duty.

• Engage in political activity in any government office.

• Engage in political activity while wearing an official uniform.

• Engage in political activity while using a government vehicle.

• Solicit political contributions from the general public.

• Wear political buttons on duty.

For further information about the Hatch Act, please contact the Field Law Office that serves your location, or contact the Ethics Helpline by telephone at 202-268-6346 or by e-mail at

Campaigning on Postal Service Premises

Postal Service regulations (see Postal Operations Manual 124.54; 39 CFR 232.1; and Poster 7, Rules and Regulations Governing Conduct on Postal Property) prohibit campaigning for election to public office on leased or owned Postal Service property. Tell individuals who ask about the availability of Postal Service property for such purposes about the prohibition, and give them a copy of the regulations. The following points will help you interpret and apply the regulations:

• The focus of the regulations is to identify activities that are "prohibited." Activities that are not prohibited by any of the regulations are permitted. For example, in the context of political campaigning, informational leafleting would be permitted, so long as the information in the leaflet itself is not political campaigning and the leafleting was carried out in a way that does not disrupt Postal Service business.

• Campaigning for election to public office is prohibited on Postal Service property, even if the candidate is independent of any political party.

• The regulations do not prohibit all activities related to political issues. For example, distributing literature pertaining to a referendum or ballot measure is permitted. The regulations do prohibit, however, the solicitation of signatures on petitions, polls, and surveys.

• The regulations prohibit depositing posters or literature on Postal Service property, obstructing entrances, any activity that tends to impede or disturb the public in transacting Postal Service business, the sale of goods, and the solicitation of contributions on Postal Service property.

• The regulations cover activity only on Postal Service premises. Activity outside Postal Service property, even if it affects our premises, is not governed by our regulations.

— Ethics and Federal Government,
Law Department, 9-14-06