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Heat-Related Death of Postal Worker Leads to Controversial Fine

January 3, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » Scientific American

CLIMATEWIRE | Federal regulators are fining the U.S. Postal Service over its failure to protect workers from heat after a letter carrier died of heat stroke in Dallas this past June.

Eugene Gates collapsed while delivering mail on June 20, a day when the National Weather Service had issued an excessive heat warning. His death garnered national attention over USPS policies that can exacerbate heat illness in its workers.

A recent E&E News investigation revealed that Gates was one of potentially thousands of postal service workers who did not receive proper heat safety training in accordance with the Postal Service’s own policies. Managers across the agency “falsified” official records to hide the lack of training, according to the letter carriers’ union.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration now says the Postal Service failed to protect its workers on June 20 from “the recognized hazard of high outdoor heat including high temperature, high humidity and direct sun exposure.” The heat index in Dallas that day ranged from 96 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

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