Nov 19, 2020 in Health

Health and Safety
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Health and Safety: The United States Post Office

Introduction

 

Employee safety is very vital in a post office just like in any other organization. Based on this, it is important for employers to take necessary measures to ensure their employees work in safe environments. Because businesses operate in different industries, the U.S. Post Office Department should meet safety standards obligatory for the respective industry. Therefore, it should have a health and safety plan that will ensure the well-being of its staff. The main goal of this organization is minimizing the number of possible accidents to zero. The Post Office has a safety program that ensures that employees can manage any emergency that may occur in the work premises. The workers have the right to be involved actively in postal services and the health and safety program to create a favorable working environment. The paper analyzes the four phases of emergency management, which can be applied in the U.S. Post Office Department.

Emergency Management

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Knowing the structure and the role of a post office to any community, planning can be done easily. Emergency managers and policy makers ought to have regular meetings with local postmasters to understand how communities utilize postal services. Thus, taking into account this information, emergency management can be planned based on the next phases that include mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The phases present a continuum, and actions taken in one phase will affect the effectiveness of measures in the other three phases. It means that each phase feeds the next, and a failure to act in one phase will influence the next stage negatively.

Mitigation

It involves taking actions and sustaining them to ensure that emergency risks are reduced, and their impacts are minimized. In other words, it relates to the activities directed towards eliminating or reducing the degree of long-term risks to the post office staff and property. It includes preventive measures from natural and technological hazards (Bumgarner, 2008). The mitigation phase is different from other functions of emergency management as it is concerned with long-term solutions for risk minimization as compared to other short-term activities of preparing for possible hazards, responding to emergency events and recovering from damages.

In the U.S. Post Office, many activities can be undertaken by officials responsible for emergency management in reducing the risk of hazards in the long term. The management of the Post Office should be committed to their duties in the mitigation phase to ensure the safety and health of the staff working in the department, as well as their customers and society at large. The management should establish a system of regular checkouts that will improve chances of structures remaining fit after an earthquake emergency. The staff should be well educated on how to ensure that the work environment is free from any possibilities of damaging emergencies. The benefits of the mitigation phase are that it saves lives and reduces the number of injuries. It should be the number one goal for the emergency management in any post office. Through mitigation, the damage of the U.S. Post Office property will be reduced and/or prevented. The social dislocation of the workforce, economic losses, and stress are minimized in the post office in this phase.

 
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Preparedness

This phase of emergency management includes activities undertaken in advance of any emergency or disaster. It is done with an aim of developing operational and logistical skills for facilitating an effective response in case an emergency occurs. The management of the U.S. Post Office should know that this stage requires proper planning and resource allocation. The staff ought to be trained on how to respond to emergencies, and this should be a priority for the organization. Disaster simulation exercises should be used for them to have large-scale responses while identifying vulnerabilities in the phase of response (Asfahl & Rieske, 2010). One of the duties of professional emergency managers is to ensure that the Post Office is well prepared for emergencies and that the safety of workers is maintained. Emergency preparedness planning should include the provision of resources and costs they need to ensure safety. The Post Office has to adopt ordinances related to emergency management that give the necessary power and authority to officials responsible for workers health and safety. There should be a risk assessment program in the Post Office, where they should identify realistic hazards and vulnerabilities (Friend & Kohn, 2010).

Response

It occurs during a disaster, and it includes immediate actions taken to save lives and property while restoring order. The U.S. Post Office employees ought to be trained on the ways of responding to emergencies like a fire in case it occurs. The Post Office should have emergency exit doors and fire extinguishers that should be in working condition.

Recovery

This phase entails assisting individuals after an emergence for the situation to become normal. The response phase starts immediately after a fire or other disaster occurs, which greatly affects the recovery phase. If the staff responds well to a disaster, then the recovery phase becomes easier. Effective communication is vital at these two stages.

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Safety Philosophy at the Post Office

To conclude, in the U.S. Post Office, the safety philosophy dictates that any occupational injury or illness is preventable (Friend & Kohn, 2010). Thus, it seems for employees realistic and not theoretical as managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring the workers well-being. The philosophy presupposes that it is possible to safeguard against any exposure that can result from an accident. All employees should be properly trained to take measures in the above phases of emergency management.

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