Delivery Drivers Suffering in High Heat Conditions

A report by NBC News shows that UPS drivers, the vast majority of whom are delivering packages in record high temperatures, are doing so without air conditioning in their trucks or loading facilities. 

Some drivers reported that the cargo areas of their trucks can reach 140 degrees or higher, recording temperatures as hot as 152 degrees.

Since 2015, at least 107 UPS workers in 23 states have been hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, according to data compiled by the news outlet.

The only employer with more incidents reported to OSHA is the U.S. Postal Service, which does not provide air-conditioning in most of its trucks and has hundreds of thousands more employees than UPS.

OSHA has limited oversight powers when it comes to heat exposure, as Congress and OSHA have never created standards and regulations for companies.

The agency has, however, invoked the “general duty” clause—the one that guarantees employees a workplace free from hazards that could cause death or serious injury— against UPS for heat risks at least eight times since 2011, NBC reported.

The company has been fined for heat violations in California and elsewhere in recent years.

The report adds that UPS has no plans to air-condition its delivery fleet, and drivers say they feel uncomfortable complaining about a company that offers one of the nation’s best-paying jobs for workers without college degrees.