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Dog bites are just one risk postal workers face in America

Whether it's your first day on the job or your last, being a postal worker has its hazards. You come into contact with all forms of weather, people and animals. Many workers have horror stories about coming into contact with crazy dogs or animals that don't want them anywhere around their homes, which is an extreme danger.

The cost of workers' compensation for the postal service employees in 2012 was $3.7 billion, a massive 68 percent increase since 2009. What happened? More injuries.

What kinds of injuries do postal workers suffer?

The United States Postal Service reports that its employees most often suffer injuries as a result of the physicality of the job. The work is repetitive and physically demanding. Between 2009 and 2012, 34,000 postal workers reported injuries. Only 13,000 took place during mail delivery. Thankfully, this actually shows a decline in overall injuries thanks to an emphasis being placed on safety in the workplace.

Postal workers suffer a variety of injuries, but some of the most common include getting into a motor vehicle accident, falling and being bitten by a dog. For those who work on foot, the most common injury is a dog bite, whereas those who drive on rural routes are more likely to suffer from a vehicular collision.

How do postal workers receive workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation for federal workers comes from the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. This act provides benefits, like cash and other services, to those who suffer permanent or temporary disabilities as a result of work-related injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately for the USPS, there are so many injuries there that it has not made enough revenue to cover its expenses and obligations. As a result, it needs to make serious headway in reducing injuries.

A five-year plan produced by the USPS aims to cut costs by half and to make the work safer for employees.

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