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UPS drivers are dealing with heat-related issues

In Wisconsin and around the country, consumers depend on delivery drivers to bring their packages on time. During the summer, hot temperatures can make this a risky task. Most UPS trucks are not equipped with air conditioning, and this lack of cooling may lead to dangerous conditions.

Why don’t the trucks have AC?

It seems like air conditioning should be standard on delivery vehicles, but UPS suggests that such equipment is not effective in a delivery situation. According to the company, delivery drivers spend almost 40% of their time outside their vehicles. At high temperatures, the frequent opening and closing of the doors would not give an air conditioner enough time to cool the vehicle enough to make a difference.

Sign of heat-related trouble

UPS trains its drivers to prepare for delivering in extreme temperatures. Unfortunately, with more frequent heat events, there are more drivers checking into emergency rooms.
It is critical that drivers be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion. Some symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Extreme thirst
  • Heavy sweating

If drivers do not address their symptoms by taking a break and cooling down, they can move from heat exhaustion to a more serious case of heat stroke. This condition is very dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.

What UPS recommends for its drivers

UPS recognizes the dangers of heat-related illnesses in extreme temperatures. The company provides ice and water for its employees. At pre-shift meetings, managers review the weather forecast and encourage drivers to prepare for the day.

On hot days, the company recommends that drivers bring plenty of water and snacks for the drive. They also encourage drivers to get adequate sleep at night and take breaks to avoid trouble. When drivers feel unwell, they are asked to contact the delivery center. After consultation, the company may send a team to replace the driver and arrange appropriate treatment.

Extreme heat events are a natural part of summers. As temperatures rise, everyone needs to take precautions to stay safe. Even though they are on a tight schedule, delivery drivers must also have the time and resources to keep cool.