OSHA Fines Nationwide Delivery Company $13K for Excessive Heat Exposure

Posted on 9/9/2019 by Lauren Scott

One of the largest delivery companies in the world has been fined $13,260 by OSHA for allegedly exposing one of its drivers to excessive heat, requiring immediate medical care.

This fine represents the maximum penalty the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can issue for a serious violation.

OSHA alleges that a delivery employee became ill while on the road in Riviera Beach, FL, where the heat index rose to 99–105°F, and had to be hospitalized.

The company has said in an e-mail to the Miami Herald that it plans to contest the citation, which OSHA announced on August 27.

NBC Investigates Workplace Safety for Delivery Truck Drivers

According to OSHA workplace safety regulations, companies are required to protect their workers from outdoor heat hazards. These protections can include, but are not limited to, providing air-conditioned spaces, adequate breaks, and access to water or shade.

However, many of this company’s delivery trucks and loading facilities are not equipped with air conditioning, according to an NBC investigation.

NBC interviewed delivery workers from the multi-billion-dollar delivery company earlier this year who claimed the cargo areas of their trucks could reach 140°F or higher. Photos and videos submitted to NBC show temperatures recorded as high as 152°F. 

NBC also found at least 107 workers were hospitalized since 2015 due to heat-related illnesses, according to State and Federal worker safety data, as well as documents obtained from public records requests.

Protect Your Workers from Heat Hazards

The signs of heat-related illnesses may seem obvious. However, the symptoms can mimic numerous other, much less serious, conditions. Don’t leave your team’s safety to chance! Lion’s Heat Illness Prevention – Supervisors course prepares supervisors to recognize and protect their team from the effects of heat stress, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion, among other injuries and illness associated with heat. The course is available online so you can learn at your own pace and earn useful resources you can save, print, and keep. 

Tags: enforcement, fines and penalties',, heat, heat exposure, heat illness, osha, penalties, workplace safety

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