Postmaster General Jack Potter today announced tough new safety procedures as part of the Postal Service's four-part effort to make the mail safe. "We are taking concrete steps immediately to protect employees and the public through education, investigation, intervention and prevention," the PMG said. Potter said USPS is educating employees and the public about steps they can take to spot suspicious pieces of mail. "We also are investigating to find out who is sending these dangerous mailpieces," the PMG said, "and we are aggressively intervening when the public or our employees are put at risk by terrorists." The latest steps include:
* Adopting and deploying new technology to neutralize anthrax that might move through the mail. This new technology, irradiation, already is being used successfully to fight bacteria in the food supply. "This new technology won't be cheap, but we are committed to spending what it takes to make the mail safe," Potter said.
* We will be providing employees who process mail with masks and gloves for their protection if they choose to use them.
* We are establishing field command centers so employees can notify the centers if they seek admission to a hospital. That way we can quickly identify any pattern of medical problems that might develop.
* We are changing the procedures we use to clean mail sorting equipment. We are installing and will use vacuuming equipment exclusively to clean the equipment to absorb dust and other particles.
* Postal facilities will use stronger, antibacterial cleaning chemicals as part of routine maintenance.
* Supervisors and postmasters will continue to give mandatory stand-up talks to employees to provide the information they need to stay safe.
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