Delaware Postal Safety in the National Spotlight, Carper Questions Postmaster General on Worker Safety
Oct 30 2001
WASHINGTON, DC - The safety of the Delaware Valley's postal workers took center stage at the nation's Capitol today when Postmaster General John Potter testified before Senator Tom Carper and the Senate Government Affairs Committee. "We've seen our postal service turned into a delivery system for lethal weapons," Carper told the Postmaster General. Delaware valley postal employees "are concerned that they will run out of masks and gloves. They are concerned that they may bring anthrax back to their homes because they do not have disposable covers for their boots." Carper brought with him the concerns of the over 100 postal workers he met with yesterday at the Hares Corner postal facility in New Castle, DE. At one point, Carper asked Potter directly: "Is there anything you'd like to share with Delaware's postal workers?" Potter replied: "They're on the front lines now, and we're all a little less confident now then we were a very short period of time ago. But they need to know that the American public stands behind them." Modern mail sorting technology may sometimes cause mail to open or rip in the postal processing facilities, Carper said. The federal government must act to protect postal workers who may be placed at risk because they work with these machines. Potter replied that the Postal Service is looking into creating a new vacuum system that would capture dust and foreign substances and is working with a manufacturer to establish a "downdraft" system that would pull powders away from workers. Carper said he expressed to Potter his "strong conviction that we need to figure out who is" committing these anthrax attacks, "apprehend them, and make sure they are punished severely for what they have done to our postal employees."