COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah (ABC4 News) – Last year Utah Postal carriers suffered 112 slips, trips, and falls. Forty-six of those incidents were in Salt Lake City alone and almost all of those falls were a result of hazardous conditions.

According to the United States Postal Service, Salt Lake City is among the top 50 cities nationwide for slips, trips and falls to postal carriers.

Holly Chavez has been a Letter Carrier for the US Postal Service for the past 24 years and says she’s experienced it all during the winter and holiday months. 

“I have fallen probably every winter of my career–so 24 years I’ve had at least 24 falls,” Chavez says. 

When asked what the winter weather and holiday packages and letters meant to her…her answer was “it’s a lot of pressure.” 

Chavez says it gets dark earlier, the loads and routes increase and says her and her fellow carriers tend to rush and miss things they might otherwise see.

She says despite the loads and treacherous weather conditions there is a lot of things residents and business owners can do to help their local carrier out. 

“It’s the things that are in the yard. The leaves that get wet and slippery, or the snow. People should clear the snow and use de-icer or salt because snow melts during the day and freezes again at night, so, it’s a really big problem…also, any little toys or anything that can roll can be easily tripped on or slipped on,” Chavez says. 

Below is a list of things provided by the US Postal Service of things mail recipients can do to help ensure the safety of their carriers: 

  • Inspect the path
  • Repair hazards
  • Control slippery surfaces
  • Be informed

Chavez says to think outside of the box this time of year when it comes to improving safety conditions for carriers. Shoveling and de-icing are appreciated but says there are a few other things that make a serious difference. 

“Another thing is since we are out in the dark if you can leave your porch light on, if you make sure your house number is visible–that’s another big thing cause sometimes we’re doing a part of another route we’re not as familiar with, so we don’t know which house is which like the regular carrier,” Chavez says.

To learn more about the routes and postal carrier safety click here.

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