The US Postal Service is asking for help to assure that letter carriers are able to deliver mail to your mailbox safely and efficiently.

Lakes Region postmasters advise that rural or curbside mailboxes should be kept clear of snow or other obstructions so that a carrier can pull up adjacent to a curbside mailbox and make a delivery without exiting his or her vehicle. The approach must be sufficiently clear so the carrier can safely approach and depart the area without having to back up.

Ice-covered sidewalks and steps caused painful and costly injuries to thousands of postal employees across the nation last year.

“Many letter carriers were seriously hurt when they slipped on icy walks or tripped over hidden obstructions,” Windham Postmaster Stephen Harris said. “We want to remind customers again that snow and ice on sidewalks and steps have to be cleared where carriers must walk.”

Postmaster Harris said that while he realizes that it’s not always easy to remove ice and snow, carriers are not required to risk personal injury from observable hazards to deliver the mail.

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