UPS worker hospitalized for heat-related illness
Delivery service UPS, Inc. has been cited for failing to protect employees working in excessive heat after an employee suffered heat-related injuries near the Riviera Beach, Florida, facility. The employee required hospitalization after becoming ill while delivering packages on a day when the heat index ranged between 99 and 105 degrees.
The company faces $13,260 in penalties, the maximum penalty allowed by law for a serious violation.
“Employers must take proper precautions when employees work outdoors in excessive heat conditions, and ensure they receive prompt medical attention when exhibiting signs of heat-related illness,” said OSHA Area Director Condell Eastmond, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
UPS vehicles are not equipped with air conditioning because their doors are frequently opened and closed due to stops. A petition which was launched on change.org in 2018 to urge the company to provide air conditioning in its trucks has attracted 835,030 signatures, with a goal of 1,000,000. The petition was created by Jenny Krenk, a nurse whose husband - a UPS driver - was hospitalized with heat stroke.
OSHA conducts training and outreach on heat-related workplace hazards every spring and summer. OSHA’s occupational heat exposure page provides information on establishing a heat illness prevention program, a video on protecting workers from heat illness, and resources with other suggested best practices. The OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool app is a free resource that calculates a worksite’s heat index and displays the associated risk levels.