Keeping 100,000 seasonal workers safe and healthy

There’s a lot that goes into leading the industry over the holidays
d.Hero_SeasonalHelper_1440x752px.jpg tablet_SeasonalHelper_768x760px.jpg m.Hero_SeasonalHelper_1023x960px.jpg

By Cormac Gilligan

We’re busy hiring more than 100,000 seasonal workers to help us deliver the holidays for our customers. And there’s a lot more to it than recruiting.

Seasonal workers come from all over – all ages, backgrounds and skill levels. To ensure they’re prepared for the physical and fast-paced nature of our work requires world-class health and safety training.

It’s a responsibility we take seriously, and it starts the moment a new UPSer joins our team. Here’s how we make it happen:

  • The first thing that happens after an employee is hired is they come to an orientation where safety is at the center. We teach everything from lifting packages properly to using three points of contact to get in and out of our vehicles.
  • Our helpers and seasonal drivers also receive targeted, customized and modular training right from their phones with job-specific, on-demand YouTube-style videos.
  • Our full-time drivers – the best and safest in the industry – mentor their helpers throughout the day reinforcing the training constantly.
  • We have nearly 3,300 safety committees presenting regular safety tips, sharing lessons learned and encouraging wellness activities. These teams do demos on topics such as stretching, understanding the body’s power zone and preventing dog bites (we even maintain a database that maps where potentially dangerous dogs are).
  • We use data to guide our efforts, we do safety observations and emphasize job preparation. We even use weather forecasts to determine our focus for that particular day. For example, our safety committees might do a demo on walking like a penguin (yes, just like it sounds – shuffling your feet with short steps) if wintery conditions are present to avoid slips and falls.
  • We also have what we call the Being Habits, a program focused on mental fitness, nutrition, sleep and hydration.

There’s a lot that goes into being the industry leader during the holiday season – and our health and safety training is at the top of the list.

We’re hiring, too. Come join our team and see for yourself.

Did you know: Last year, nearly 35,000 of our seasonal employees earned permanent positions after the holidays, and have been building on their solid foundation of safety training.

About Cormac: Cormac has led UPS health & safety since October 2021. He has over 25 years of global safety experience and extensive international and cross-cultural program development. He has a bachelor’s in occupational safety and health from South Bank University in London, UK and a national certificate in human physiology from the Carlow Institute of Technology in Ireland.

Related Stories