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Employers Beware – USPS Hit with OSHA Fine in Worker Heat Exposure Case


No employer is immune to OSHA recordables, even not a federal employer. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, for instance, was fined almost $130,000 after a worker was hospitalized due to heat stroke. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s report found that not only had the USPS not ensured safety measures were in place to protect letter carriers from the heat, but there was also no way for the workers to contact supervisors when heat concerns arose. 

Excessive Heat Brings Serious Consequences 

This isn’t the first time the U.S. Postal Service has faced such fines. In 2012, the Postal Service branch in Independence, Missouri, was also fined after a worker collapsed from the excessive heat and later died in the hospital. OSHA found that the death could easily have been avoided if workers had been trained to recognize symptoms of heat stroke and been given adequate access to water and shade. Perhaps most importantly, the ruling in this case shows that employers truly have a responsibility to take the precautions necessary to protect their employees from excessive heat.

Not an Isolated Issue 

While the environments faced by mail carriers certainly present high-temperature situations, all companies should implement strategies to prevent heat-related illnesses. Even in air-conditioned warehouses or factories, working in close proximity to machines with high heat outputs can quickly lead to heat stress for employees. Educating employees on warning signs of heat stress, providing water and shade, and ensuring regular breaks can all help workers remain safe and productive. Adding a portable air cooling system to the work environment can help avoid the problems caused by heat and make your workspace more productive, efficient and profitable.

Power Breezer Helps Beat the Heat 

From packaging and fulfillment centers to outdoors worksites to manufacturing hubs, the Breezer Mobile Cooling Power Breezer [link to product page on website] and O2 [link to product page on website] cooling solutions can offer relief and safety in heat-prone work environments. OSHA recordables are easily preventable if the work environment remains cool and staff is trained to spot and respond to heat-related problems. And with the Power Breezer, even a 2,700 sq. ft. workspace can be cooled by up to 27 degrees F, while the more compact and easily transportable O2 can still cool a 1,500 sq. ft. area by the same amount. Not only that, but these systems are built to withstand the toughest environments. Combined jet engine technology with fluid dynamics make on-site heat stress a thing of the past.

While the USPS is facing steep fines and penalties, your business does not have to face the same problems. Heat is not only detrimental to worker’s health, but it also lowers the productivity of the whole operation. Not to mention, it cuts into the bottom line [Link to risk infographic]. To learn more about how the Power Breezer or O2 can help you prevent this, visit today!

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