Cover Story

Beat the Heat — Shade. Rest. Water.

USPS® employees, like many others who work in the elements, face various environmental conditions while performing their daily duties. That’s why USPS management provides employees with the proper awareness level and training to recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses, including guidance on how to prevent injury or illness, and what to do if an employee experiences symptoms. In response, the Office of Safety and Health has developed a Safety Depends on Me National Communication Campaign regarding Heat Stress.

This campaign includes a transmittal letter, poster, and separate safety talks directed specifically towards employees and supervisors. Within this campaign, the major areas of discussion are:

1. Shade. Limiting time exposed to the sun and heat by finding a shaded area to take authorized work breaks.

2. Rest. Using authorized breaks to relax from high heat conditions.

3. Water. Making sure that carriers drink plenty of water throughout their work shift. It is recommended that they drink 1 cup of water every 20 minutes to stay hydrated.

In the event that an employee experiences any of the following symptoms and/or notices them in one of their coworkers (while working within high heat environments), they must contact their supervisor immediately for assistance and seek relief in a cool area:

n Chills.

n Clammy skin.

n Cramps.

n Dizziness.

n Elevated temperature.

n Extreme weakness.

n Fatigue.

n Headache.

n Heavy sweating or hot, dry skin.

n Nausea.

n Pale complexion.

n Slurred speech.

The Postal Service is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees. This includes, but is not limited to, providing adequate training and awareness regarding work-related hazards. Always remember, Safety Depends on Me! The more you know, the greater the chances of protecting yourself from potential injuries and hazards.