Lone workers Research/studies Workers' compensation Services Transportation

Dog bites, falls top causes of postal worker injuries: report

Washington – Dog bites, falls and vehicle collisions were the leading causes of injuries among U.S. Postal Service employees in 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Sept. 26.

In 2012, USPS workers had an injury and illness rate of 5.44 per 100 employees. That rate is a decrease from the previous year of 5.67. The national average injury rate in 2011 – the most recently available data – was 3.5.

Most mail route injuries from 2009 through 2012 were due to falls and dog bites, and falls to the ground were the leading injury resulting in restricted work activity or days away from work. The leading cause of long-term occupational illness was repetitive motion, regardless of severity or route type.

The study was conducted at the request of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In recent years, USPS workers’ compensation costs have grown to $3.7 billion in 2012 from $2.2 billion in 2009, according to a letter from GAO to Issa. The increase comes at a time when USPS is struggling with declining revenue.