Keep your postal workers safe during winter conditions

K. William Boyer
Devils Lake Journal

DEVILS LAKE  — With the threat of strong winds and snowstorms on the horizon, USPS Postmasters are asking customers to help keep carriers safe by clearing snow and ice from around mailboxes and walkways as soon as possible after it snows.

North Dakota postal carriers, who each make an average of more than 600 deliveries daily, will continue to make deliveries during the snowstorm, according to postal officials.

 Postal worker say, however, that when mailboxes and approaches to mailboxes are buried in snow and ice it can make it difficult for carriers to make deliveries safely. Unsafe conditions such as unshoveled snow, icy sidewalks, or large amounts of snow blocking mailboxes can delay or even prevent mail delivery.

One way Postal customers who receive door mail can ensure safety for their carriers to   ensure sidewalks, steps, and access ways are kept safely clear of snow and ice.  Customers receiving street-side mailbox or centralized cluster neighborhood mailbox delivery should ensure pathways to their mailboxes are kept clear and safe as well.

United States Post Office mail workers deliver mail despite the snow covered roads.

According to postal officials, if access is not safe, mailboxes are blocked, or streets are impassable, postal carriers are instructed to refrain from delivering to locations they deem too hazardous.

Every year carriers are injured from slipping on snow and ice while delivering their mail routes. In 2020, the Postal Service reported that over 17,000 USPS employees were affected by slip, trip & fall injuries last year, with 35% of all accidents tied to slippery stairs & icy/wet surfaces.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  Follow him on Twitter, @KWBOYER_DLJ.