The Postal Service is working to protect employees this summer.
Across the nation, managers and supervisors are delivering stand-up talks on avoiding heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Managers and supervisors are also continuing to remind employees of the importance of drinking plenty of water to keep themselves properly hydrated — efforts that are supported by local safety teams and task forces.
For example, in Capital Metro Area’s Mid-Carolinas District, the local safety office and members of a USPS-National Association of Letter Carriers task force recently visited carriers who were delivering mail to provide them with bottled water and to remind them to work safely.
“Staying hydrated is important,” said Kinston, NC, Letter Carrier Sametha Mitchell-Kelly, a task force member.
“We have to reach out to every carrier — especially our newly hired employees — and make sure they’re aware of the dangers caused by high temperatures and humidity. Keeping hydrated is a carrier’s best defense against the summer heat.”
A widespread heat wave is expected to affect two-thirds of the nation through the weekend, with high temperatures in the forecast for much of the central and eastern United States.
In addition to staying hydrated, USPS advises employees to take other measures to protect themselves, including wearing light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable clothing and using shaded areas to stay cool.
Postal leaders say it’s critical that every employee know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses so that they can get medical attention if needed.
Ronnie Griffin, a Morehead City, NC, letter carrier, said it’s important for employees to follow the organization’s safety guidance.
“When you’re outside six or seven hours a day, you have to take precautions like drinking plenty of fluids and parking in the shade — anything to help stay cooler on a hot day,” he said.