Union Wins Settlement
In Accident Report Privacy Dispute
APWU Web News Article 030-2012, April 5 , 2012
On March 28, the APWU reached a Step 4 settlement [PDF] with the Postal Service that requires management to better protect employees’ privacy when workers report accidents.
The dispute arose when the union learned that the USPS had replaced the paper version of the Accident Report form (PS Form 1769) with an electronic version of the document, e-1769. The USPS said that using the new form would increase efficiency and eliminate unnecessary repetition of information.
In a grievance [PDF] filed on Jan. 29, 2008, however, the union charged that the electronic form violated privacy protections found in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) [PDF] and the Privacy Act because it required the inclusion of employees’ Social Security numbers and restricted medical information.
In the settlement, the USPS agreed to discontinue the use of the improper e-1769 Form; remove all medical diagnosis from accident report forms; comply with electronic security requirements identified in Postal Bulletin 22238, and remove Social Security numbers. In addition, the parties agreed that management would continue to comply with Article 14 of the CBA, which requires the Postal Service to provide copies of Accident Reports to employees, safety committees and other APWU representatives.
The settlement does not alter OSHA’s accident reporting system as described in OSHA Forms 300 and 301 (Section 1904 of the OSH Act, Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illness), nor does it address or resolve any issues regarding the Postal Service’s current automated accident reporting system, Employee Health & Safety (EHS).