Safety and Health

About Safety and Health

The Industrial Relations Director is charged with responsibility for the health and safety of all divisions of the Union. Article 14 of the National Agreement requires management to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees covered by the agreement. To achieve this end, the contract provides for the establishment of joint safety and health committees at various levels throughout the Postal Service.

National-level Labor-Management Safety Committees

At the Headquarters level, there is a Joint Labor-Management Safety Committee and a Joint Labor-Management Ergonomics Committee.

Problems in the field should be directed to the APWU Regional Safety and Health Representatives.

The APWU is responsible for working to ensure that USPS management implements safety programs and policies that will protect workers; reviews new equipment for ergonomics and safety factors; keeps track of the latest developments that affect postal workers' health and safety--including new studies, regulations and standards; works to pass beneficial legislation in Congress and to stop harmful bills; and provides education and information to APWU members and locals.

Under Article 14 of the National Agreement, it is the responsibility of management to provide safe working conditions in all present and future installations and to develop a safe working force. The Union will cooperate with and assist management to live up to this responsibility.

Vance Zimmerman, Director of Industrial Relations, with the assistance of craft officers, Regional Coordinators and the Regional Safety and Health Representatives, is responsible for safety and health for all divisions of the union.

Local Safety Committees

The collective bargaining agreement also provides for a Joint Labor-Management Safety and Health Committee at each postal installation that have 50 or more employees. In installations that have fewer than 50 employees, installation heads are encouraged to establish similar committees when requested by the Union. Where no safety and health committee exist, safety and health items may be placed on the agenda and discussed at labor-management meetings.