A recent report from the Government Accountability Office took a look at work injury claims filed by U.S. Post Service employees. The report specifically looked at claims filed between 2009 and 2012. During that time, an average of 34,000 injuries were claimed each year. Of those, 13,000 were directly caused by mail delivery.
What kind of injuries to postal workers suffer? If you're thinking of dog bites, you'd be right. According to the report, the most frequently reported injury for routes conducted mostly on foot is dog bites. For rural routes, which are mostly conducted in vehicles, the most common injuries are those stemming from motor vehicle crashes. Falls to the ground are another common injury among USPS employees.
USPS records show that its injury rates have been decreasing over the last decade or so because of its emphasis on safety. But according to the Congressional Research Service, the rate of injury among USPS employees is not proportionate to the rate in other areas of federal government.
For USPS employees, workers' compensation costs are paid by the federal worker's compensation program overseen by the Department of Labor. For employees of private companies in California, claims are paid by the California Division of Workers' Compensation.
The program provides benefits in medical care, temporary disability, permanent disability, supplemental job displacement, and death benefits, among others.
While claims are usually processed properly, that isn't always the case. Those who run into problems with their claim should contact an experienced attorney to determine the best course of action to take.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Neither Rain Nor Sleet But Dog Bites: Post Office Workers' Injury Claims," September 27, 2013.