Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

From today’s Reuters News Service:

As Texas baked in this summer’s record temperatures, local UPS driver Chris Begley started feeling unwell before collapsing at a customer’s premises. The 57-year-old’s death in hospital was announced in late August – just as his trade union was ratifying a deal with UPS on improved heat protections.

“Chris Begley should still be alive to experience them,” the Teamsters union said in a statement of provisions such as a promise to include air conditioning in new delivery vans from next year and to retrofit existing vehicles.

In a statement to local media, UPS (UPS.N) said it was cooperating with the authorities as they investigated the cause of death. “We train our people to recognize the symptoms of heat stress, and we respond immediately to any request for help,” it said.

As global warming leads to more frequent spells of extreme heat around the world, workers are among the most exposed to serious health risks because their livelihoods often depend on them carrying on regardless.

At the same time, studies show that productivity starts to be impaired at temperatures above 24-26 degrees Celsius (75-79 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for some tasks, slashed by half from around 33-34C – levels repeatedly exceeded in a year which included the hottest July on record.

“Unlike some occupational health and safety risks you see a direct impact (from heat) on the health of workers and a direct impact on productivity,” said Halshka Graczyk, a specialist on the issue at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Read the complete story here.

By Editor