How one UPS driver mastered Arizona’s desert summers

Turning up the prep to turn down the heat
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Meet Manny Flores, a 30-year UPS Circle of Honor driver and a proud member of his building’s safety committee. For two decades, he’s been teaching safety to his co-workers and stressing the importance of self-care.

“I want to help drivers understand that you don’t mess with this heat,” said Manny. “You have to stay hydrated and take care of yourself.”

Heat? Manny’s got it beat: With nearly 3,000 days of working in the summer heat of Mesa, Arizona, he uses his extensive experience to mentor others on how to stay safe.

“Being prepared for the elements here in Arizona is a 24/7 commitment,” Manny said. “Just like any athlete, we must prepare. If you’re not preparing, it’s going to catch up with you very quickly.”

Good looking out: With kids of his own, Manny feels a paternal responsibility toward the younger drivers he works with, sharing advice on everything from the dangers of energy drinks to taking it easy on the weekends.

“I watch out for them,” Manny said. “I tell them energy drinks contribute to heat-related injuries. Start preparing for the job the day before and stay hydrated all week. Eat the right food and take your breaks,” he adds.

Crafted over time: With many years under his belt at UPS, Manny remains committed to his job and continues to prepare diligently every day.

“The little things add up,” he shares. “It’s the little things that matter.”

What’s the best way to prevent heat stress? Hydration. And the experts we worked with to develop our health and safety program, Recharge,  say nothing works quite as well as water. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it also helps your body maintain a normal temperature. While caffeinated drinks, such as energy drinks, can give you an immediate boost, water will benefit your mood, energy levels and cognition throughout the whole day.

As part of the Recharge program, we regularly share follow-up training and reminders about the importance of:

  • Getting proper rest and taking care of yourself before and after work
  • Eating healthy foods and hydrating throughout the day
  • Taking additional breaks whenever needed
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat illness

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