U.S. mail carriers and handlers are no more apt to get violent and go “postal'' than other workers, according to a two-year study by an independent U.S. Postal Service commission.

The study concluded that postal workers are no more likely to physically assault, sexually harass or verbally abuse their co-workers than other employees in the U.S. workforce.

``'Going postal' is a myth, a bad rap causing unnecessary apprehension and fear among 900,000 postal workers,'' said Joseph Califano, chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Commission on a Safe and Secure Workplace, and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Postal workers were only a third as likely as others in the national workforce to be victims of workplace homicide during the years 1992 through 1998. Retail workers were eight times more likely than postal employees to be homicide victims at work. Taxi drivers face odds 150 times greater than letter carriers of being killed on the job.

Of the nearly 12,000 postal workers and 3,000 other employees surveyed, one in 20 was physically assaulted at work in the past year, and about a third were verbally abused on the job, according to the report.