After a Wall Street Journal article became public about the safety records of US Postal Service contractors, or the lack thereof, an email was sent out to all contractors notifying them they are now required to divulge any information on new incidents. The new reporting requirements do not look into any past incidents, those which brought about the in-depth look by WSJ.
The review shows that 79 people have died in incidents involving a mail contractor since 2020. That figure brings into question the minimum requirements a contractor needs to haul the mail.
Most third-party carriers require a company to be listed as “satisfactory” by the FMCSA SAFER profile. The investigation showed that the US Mail was hauled by many carriers with lower “conditional” ratings.
A conditional safety rating means a motor carrier does not have adequate safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with the safety fitness standard. In layman’s terms, the chance for a carrier to be in a serious incident is likely but has not occurred.
Under the new guidelines, mail contractors are to report details of incidents resulting in “fatalities, injuries, or significant property damage” directly to several senior officials at USPS. According to the WSJ article, they could not determine how the new accident-reporting directive would be enforced.
USPS also declined to comment to the WSJ on “how it would collect accident information from companies that haul truckloads of mail as subcontractors to its trucking partners.” In other words, they might not ask the freight brokers if they were using safe and legal drivers.
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