Florida

U.S. Postal Service fighting $129,336 fine for making mail carriers deliver in heavy heat

Water, rest, and shade: Preventing heat illness for employees

Employers can help their workers stay safe and healthy if they remember this advice for preventing heat illness.
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Employers can help their workers stay safe and healthy if they remember this advice for preventing heat illness.

“Heat” is in the famed mail carrier motto that begins, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night...” But not that much heat, OSHA’s telling the U.S. Postal Service.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed a $129,336 fine for the U.S. Postal Service after investigating the Jacksonville branch at 1100 Kings Road.

On Aug. 9, OSHA said, “Letter Carriers were exposed to the hazards of high ambient temperatures while delivering mail. Such exposures may lead to the development of serious heat-related illnesses such as, but not limited to, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.”

According to timeanddate.com, Jacksonville hit a high of 97 on Aug. 9, 2018.

The Kings Road branch also got a $6,911 fine, settled to $3,455, for a fall protection violation on Aug. 9.

The Postal Service is contesting the violations, but it has a little bit of a history. OSHA has dunned the Postal Service for heat hazards four times since 2014, most recently when the heat index inside some Pensacola mail carriers’ trucks rose above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Sept. 17, 2015. The Postal Service formally settled that proposed fine from $70,000 to $7,000.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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