UPS Refused To Give Driver Fan In Dangerous Heat In New York State
UPS has come under fire for not providing a driver here in New York with a fan in his vehicle during the extreme heatwave that affected most of the state. The driver was told that it was a 'corporate decision,' according to VICE.
Lewis also posted the portion of the union contract that specifies drivers must be provided with fans,
The parties agree that a package car driver requesting a fan in the cab of their vehicle shall make such request through the local Safety and Health Committee for approval…Such request will not be unreasonably denied.
The date matches up to several days in July when most of the state was under an extreme heat warning.
Dangerous, Potentially Deadly Heatwave Hit Most Of New York State
Governor Kathy Hochul issued a warning to New Yorkers to prepare for the dangerous heat on July 19. The high temperatures, mixed with moderate-to-high humidity caused heat index values in the 90s and 100s. On Thursday, July, 21, the third day of the heatwave, downstate regions experienced heat index values above 100 degrees. This was the same day the UPS driver requested the fan.
A company representative told Motherboard that the request shouldn't have been denied. However, Lewis told Motherboard that more than 100 drivers including him have requested fans, but they haven't been installed yet.
The Lack Of Concern For The Health Of Delivery Drivers Seems To Be A Widespread Problem
A UPS delivery driver in Scottsdale, Arizona told ABC 15 that the company isn't prioritizing their safety in extreme heat,
Every week drivers are dropping like flies due to heat conditions and UPS is killing drivers because of this. There's been several times where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night, cramping up, my legs cramping, my hand is cramping. I’m telling my wife I can't sleep because I'm having these issues and I end up having to call out the next day because it's clearly not safe for me to come back to work. And UPS will reprimand me.
In June of 2022, a driver died while making deliveries for UPS in the Los Angeles area. Autopsy results have not been publicly released, but Estaben Chavez's family told ABC 7 that they believe him driving around in the truck on a hot day is what killed him. With temperatures reported in the 90s on the day he died, his aunt Gloria Chavez said,
I'm thinking it's heatstroke, but that's just me.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heat stroke kills just over 700 people annually, and injures thousands more,
702 - An average of 702 heat-related deaths occur each year.
67,512 - Each year, there are 67,512 emergency department visits due to heat, on average.
9,235 - Each year, an average of 9,235 people are hospitalized due to heat.
If you have a strenuous job or work in the heat, you could be at high risk for heat stroke or heat exhaustion.