This summer, states across the country experienced scorching, record-breaking heat waves. And unfortunately, some regions are continuing to weather some brutal heat.
According to a heat tracker created by the New York Times using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, states such as Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Arizona are still suffering heat indexes that warrant “extreme caution.”
In these regions, residents can expect to feel like the temperature outside is between ninety and one hundred and three degrees Fahrenheit. And prolonged exposure or exercise under these conditions can possibly result in heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion.
Plus, parts of southern Florida are still in the “danger” heat index levels– where the temperature can feel like up to one hundred and twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. There, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely. Additionally, prolonged exposure or exercise may even result in heat stroke.
And while these relentless heat conditions have been an annoyance for residents, they have also been a severe health hazard for UPS drivers across the country– who have begun speaking out against their working conditions.
UPS is currently the largest package delivery company in the entire world. But, the company’s financial gains have not exactly paralleled safe working environments.
Instead, nearly all of the signature UPS brown trucks have been operating without air conditioning– forcing drivers to continuously perform draining labor without any salvation from the heat.
UPS employs almost three hundred and fifty thousand people, most of which are covered via a union contract. And thankfully, since the contract expires next year, beating the heat will be a critical issue on the union’s agenda during the next round of negotiations.
“UPS has not been proactive at all on the topic of heat, and that’s going to have to change. By refusing to implement these safety measures, the company is literally sending drivers out to die in the heat,” said the general president of the union Sean M. O’Brien in an interview with NBC.