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Postal workers are exercising caution

November 27, 2001

Postal workers are exercising caution



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Postal workers have adapted to a work environment that requires them to be more cautious about their safety, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service's Baltimore District, which includes Hagerstown and Frederick, said Monday.

"Things are going well, we are pleased to say," said spokeswoman Helen Skillman.

Postal workers are receiving internal training, often by supervisors who pass along information to them, Skillman said. Updated information is provided to all the post offices each week and shared with the employees, she said.

All postal workers have been given masks and gloves to wear when handling mail, and while they are encouraged to wear them, doing so is not mandatory, Skillman said.

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Only four or five of the 155 employees at the Hagerstown Post Office on Franklin Street regularly wear gloves, Hagerstown Postmaster Keith Guerrin said.

The postal employees do not use gloves when delivering mail or dealing with customers, but that is their choice, he said.

There have been no anthrax scares at the Hagerstown Post Office, Guerrin said.

Mail from the contaminated Brentwood Postal Center in Washington, D.C., did not go directly to local post offices. Mail to Washington County comes through the Frederick, Md., office.

Skillman said the Post Office's Internet site, www.usps.com, contains information on how post offices and the system have responded to the attacks through the mail system.

The site carries a reminder to examine mail that arouses suspicions, including mail with no return address, or with excessive postage, oily stains or excessive tape or string.

Mail that arouses suspicious should be isolated and law enforcement called.

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