November 2020 Update
We’ve made it through the election mail deluge and find ourselves preparing to plunge head-first into peak season. In the meantime, a surge in the number COVID-19 cases is continuing to diminish the number of people available for duty. While peak season has always been chaotic, the current circumstances have created the potential for the situation to become extreme. We all know that peak season requires perseverance, but perseverance is something that occurs with time. We need a starting point, or path of sorts, to guide our way through peak season. Something that can be followed today, tomorrow, and throughout this period. This begins by adopting a mindset that you will put your health and safety above everything else.
We’re all aware of the COVID-19 impact. We wear the masks, use the hand sanitizer, watch the cleanings, and notice that coworkers are absent; unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Quite frankly, COVID-19 related absences are increasing. Daily reports show dozens of Postal employees testing positive or being quarantined across the State. The persistence of these numbers is very troubling.
From the start of the pandemic the Local Union has supported, encouraged compliance with, and taken action to enforce CDC guidelines in the workplace. Our Officers and Representatives continue pursuing these objectives. The rest is up to you. Protect your health, the health of your family, and the health of your coworkers by following the CDC guidelines during peak season. Don’t become another number on the report.
Peak season is known for congested work areas, long hours, and sometimes short tempers. This creates an increased potential for industrial accidents. Forklifts, long jacks, and mules are powerful pieces of equipment. In addition to the “what” and “where to” aspects of transporting mail, safe operation requires a constant focus on the changing circumstances of the work floor. This primarily involves watching out for pedestrians, but also involves watching out for other pieces of powered equipment. Maintaining the required focus becomes more difficult when someone becomes tired.
No one wants to have an on the job injury and no one wants to injure someone else. Someone having an on the job injury will have to deal with the injury compensation process. Dealing with that process can be very frustrating. In fact, I’ve long been of the opinion that the worst thing that can happen to a Postal employee is that they suffer an on the job injury. Of course, someone who injures another employee may find themselves in a different process. That process involves Union representation.
Adopting a mindset of putting your health and safety above everything else seems insufficient at this point. This must be expanded to adopting a mindset of putting your health and safety, and the health and safety of everyone around you, above anything else. This is a good starting point on the path through peak season; and after that, this path leads to a long and successful career.
Look out for each other, stay healthy, and work safe.