October 25, 2006 10:50 ET

Canada Post Says it's a Serious Question of Safety

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 25, 2006) - Canada Post is committed to maintaining quality rural mail delivery. Wherever possible delivery to rural mailboxes will continue. "However, under the labour laws as they exist today, Canada Post has no choice but to address legitimate safety issues affecting delivery of mail to some rural mailboxes", said Mary Traversy, Senior vice-president, Employee Engagement for Canada Post.

Hundreds of safety concerns have been raised with respect to mail delivery to rural mailboxes. Federal health and safety officials and other experts have repeatedly confirmed that safety issues are real. Canada Post is legally obligated under the Canada Labour Code and the Criminal Code to protect the safety of its employees.

Population growth and increased traffic are making delivery of mail to many rural mailboxes potentially hazardous for Canada Post mail carriers and other drivers. In light of changing workplace safety standards, Canada Post has taken steps to increase the visibility of vehicles driven by its Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers, equipping each with rooftop signs and flashing amber lights. But enhanced visibility alone does not address all situations where Canada Post employees, customers and the motoring public are at risk.

Canada Post engaged the services of leading Canadian experts in the fields of traffic safety, road design, and driver behaviour to develop a scientific approach to assess traffic safety related to rural and suburban mail delivery. The work of the expert panel resulted in a traffic safety assessment criteria that can be applied to individual rural mailboxes.

The new criteria will be applied to individual mailboxes in order to make an objective and scientifically based decision on whether delivery to a mailbox poses a safety risk. The decision is based on an assessment of legal restrictions that apply to the area, the type of road, volume and speed of traffic, the position of the delivery vehicle on the road, and sight lines for merging back into traffic or for safe stopping/passing distances.

If a mailbox is identified as a potential hazard, the first option is, wherever possible, to move the box to a safer location. If conditions do not allow for re-positioning a rural mailbox for safe delivery, Canada Post will provide the resident's service via one of its safe and proven centralized mail delivery systems such as a Community Mailbox.

"Canada Post will contact all customers affected and advise them if their mailbox could be made safe for delivery, or if their method of delivery will have to change", said Ms. Traversy. "Changing a customer's mode of delivery is something we would consider only as a last resort."

Contact Information

  • Canada Post
    Media Relations