By Betty Simpson | bsimpson@wcia.com

Published 01/13 2014 02:01PM

Updated 01/15 2014 10:51AM

Latest: 10:05 pm, 1/14/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- Post office officials say they disagree with accusations of safety violations. OSHA found the processing plant on Mattis Avenue is putting workers in danger because they weren't properly trained to use the conveyor belt.

A postal service spokesperson says they will appeal. If the post office loses the appeal, they could owe OSHA up to $144,000.
Update: 10:01, 1/13/14, Monday
CHAMPAIGN -- The post office is being fined more than $100,000. An OSHA investigation found it put employees in danger.

It happened at the processing plant in the 2000-block of North Mattis. It all started with a complaint.

OSHA has been investigating for five months. Monday, it announced the post office now owes $144,000 in fines.

OSHA says employees weren't taught how to properly use the conveyor belt. They were told to use an emergency brake which could cause lacerations or even amputations.

No one at the post office was familiar with the investigation or the fines. It has fifteen days to appeal the citation. If it can prove the problem's been fixed, it might not have to pay the fine in full.
Original: 2:01 pm, 1/13/14, Monday
CHAMPAIGN -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited a local post office for eight safety violations which carry proposed fines of $144,000. An inspection in June found a lack of both "energy control procedures" and "fall protection" at the Mattis facility.

The inspection documented one violation involving workers who were told to push an "e-stop" before clearing jams from conveyor belts. Workers are not trained or allowed to do that because of the potential of cuts or amputation hazards.

Three "serious," four "repeat" and one "other-than-serious" violations were all reported. The USPS has fifteen business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the findings.

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