A worker’s heat-related fatality last summer in Southern California has resulted in citations against the U.S. Postal Service for a repeated violation of OSHA’s General Duty Clause.

The employee suffered hyperthermia while delivering mail in July 2018 when the outdoor temperature reached 117 degrees. The general duty violation addresses USPS’s programs and procedures for employees working in high-heat situations. The postal service was also cited for a repeated violation of recordkeeping requirements related to recording heat stress incidents. Proposed penalties total $149,664.

“The U.S. Postal Service knows the dangers of working in high-heat conditions and is required to address employee safety in these circumstances,” said OSHA Oakland Area Office Director Amber Rose. “USPS is responsible for establishing work practices to protect mail carriers who work outdoors from the hazards of extreme temperatures.”

OSHA conducts training and outreach on heat-related workplace hazards every spring and summer. Information on providing employees with water, rest, and shade, as well as other suggested good practices, are available on OSHA's heat illness prevention page.