When winter's frigid temperatures bring significant snow and ice to the Midwest, it means slippery surfaces, which can be dangerous and costly for homeowners, as well as their visitors - and for their letter carrier. By clearing a path when the snow arrives, accidents can be prevented, according to the local Post Office.
Snow and ice hazards can cause serious injuries to many people, especially letter carriers. Preventing a slip of bad fall can be as easy as putting down salt or sand on slippery surfaces.
Letter carriers cannot make door or curb deliveries when the approach to the mailbox is hazardous due to snow and/or ice. Carriers are not allowed to attempt door delivery when there is a heavy buildup of snow and ice on sidewalks, steps or porches. They are not allowed to dismount for curb line boxes blocked by snow and ice buildup. Snow must be cleared to the curb line for at least six feet on both sides of the mailbox so the carrier can approach and leave without backing up his or her vehicle.
Ice is particularly dangerous on steps and any walking surface, especially painted wood or concrete, such as stoops and porches. In open areas, watch for drifts and pileups from snowplows. When there's a warm spell, and the melting snow runs or pools, a quick freeze can make a cleared sidewalk slicker than ever.