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In this article we will give you an example of how a postal employee should describe their job duties as part of the disability retirement process.
The position of a Sales and Service Distribution clerk assigned to the Anytown Post Office involves the following tasks. Use this as an example then analyze your position in the same detail the next day you go to work. Document every move and every detail.
In the morning, when breaking mail down to be sorted, I will be moving carts and large hampers from the dock area into the facility. This requires me to push equipment that weighs from 45-1200 pounds. Empty weight of a cage (6’x 4’x 3’ with a metal shelf that weighs 25 lbs) that is used to transport mail ~325 lbs and when it is fully loaded with mail, it can weigh up to ~1200lbs I will have to remove the mail from the equipment and it will be in trays (8-15 pounds), flat tubs (5-50 pounds), and mail sacks (variable weights up to 70 pounds).
I am required to stand for 2-3 Hours, intermittently static, when I am sorting mail to a letter case. These trays of mail weigh approximately 15 lbs. when full. The case is approximately 30 inches off the ground and has mail slots of 3” x 4” for mail to be placed in each slot. The mail sorting case looks like a grid and is a total of 56 slots for mail to placed with a total height of 6 feet. I will stand as I sort the mail and be required to place mail in the case reaching from below my waist to 18 inches above my shoulder. This requires a repetitive motion utilizing my upper arms and hands. I will repeat this motion 200-500 times in a 15 minute period.
I am required to stand for 2-3 hours, intermittently static, when I am sorting mail to a flat case. The flat tubs of mail (plastic containers -1’x 1.5’x 1’that weigh up to 50lbs) vary in weight from a few pounds to 50 pounds when full. The case is approximately 30 inches off the ground and has slots for flats that are 10” x 4” for mail to be placed in each slot. The mail sorting case looks like a grid and is a total of 40 slots for mail to placed I will stand as I sort the mail and be required to place mail in the case reaching from below my waist to 1 foot above my shoulder. I will repeat this motion 300-500 times in a 15 minute period. When I sort the mail to the Post Office Boxes in the office the task is similar to casing mail but the dimensions’ include boxes located only 18 inches off the floor to a height of 65 inches.
The mail distribution portion of my position requires prolonged standing, walking, bending, lifting (up to 70 lbs), pulling, pushing/pulling large metal containers (with weights up to 1200 lbs), and reaching above my shoulders and below my waist .
When assigned to the window section of the office, my tasks include selling stamps, accepting mail (letters and flats) and parcels (of all shapes and sizes up to 70 pounds). My job will involve fine manipulation using a computer system. I will have to lift packages across the counter to place them on a scale to be weighted. After the mail is accepted I will have to place the package in a mail cart/hamper/metal container for transport to the rear of the Post Office for dispatch.
The window clerk portion of my position requires prolonged standing, walking, bending, lifting (up to 70 lbs), twisting turning, pushing/pulling carts/hampers/large metal containers (with weights up to 1200 lbs). I will do this multiple times in an hour period depending on how busy the windows are.
I am allowed two 15-minute breaks and a 1/2 hour lunch in a 8 1/2 hour window. (hour 2 – break, hour 4 – lunch, hour 6 1/2- break).
*ATTACH THIS TO THE FRONT OF THE JOB DESCRIPTION YOU GIVE YOUR PHYSICIAN
In our next article we’ll address how to write your letter to your doctors as well as how the compensation works if you are approved for a disability retirement.