5 ways UPS is improving heat safety for employees

Investing to help keep our employees safe when it gets hot
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By: Cormac Gilligan, UPS Global Head – Health and Safety

Our drivers and package handlers are like world-class athletes. To help keep UPSers prepared for their work, we invest more than $409 million in safety training each year and have a network of hundreds of health and safety professionals hard at work around the world. 

Being prepared to work in the heat is critical. Coming to work well rested and staying hydrated are some of the most important ways to keep safe in hot weather. We also know that these are only part of the safety solution. The right training, the right gear and the right equipment are also key to helping UPSers stay safe.

With that in mind, we have spent the last several months working with top experts in heat safety to study various working conditions and further improve our trainings and protocols to help our employees work safely—especially on hot days.

Here are five ways we’re making this summer even safer for all UPSers:

  • We’ve introduced Recharge, a new health and safety program developed in partnership with experts in athletic hydration and heat-safety from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. We’ve also partnered with MISSION®, a major activewear company that specializes in cooling fabrics. These scientists have decades of experience studying the impact of heat on the human body, and we’ve incorporated their expertise into our annual heat awareness training, taking heat-safety science from the sports world and bringing it to UPS.

  • We’re equipping our delivery drivers with new cooling sleeves and hats – developed in partnership with MISSION® – bringing athletic innovations off the playing field and court and into our operations. Studies show that cooling key parts of the body can help significantly reduce the risk of overheating, and MISSION®’s state-of-the-art technology helps its cooling fabrics stay up to 30 degrees cooler than body temperature. The gear was featured recently on NBC’s Today Show during a segment on summer must-haves.

    Watch as UPS drivers from San Antonio try the new cooling gear.

  • We’ve equipped 95,000 package cars with a cooling fan.

  • We’re rapidly increasing the installation of new fans in our facilities, with plans to install 18,000 new fans across our 1,500 U.S. facilities.

  • Following guidance from our heat experts, we’re increasing access to ice, cool water and electrolytes beverages in our facilities to ensure all UPSers have what they need to stay hydrated.

We’re challenging ourselves to continue exploring solutions that can help keep our employees safe—especially on hot days. Together, we’re recharging our commitment to the health and safety of our people and helping everyone work safely year-round. 

UPS and the Teamsters recently reached an agreement about vehicle heat safety. Learn more here.

Check out this CBS News Texas video about UPSers preparing to work safely in hot weather.