A U.S. Postal Service worker was found dead in her truck in July died from overheating, as temperatures in California got all the way to 117 degrees, the coroner’s office said Monday.
Peggy Frank, 63, was sitting in her mail truck when she was found unresponsive by a neighbor. Paramedics arrived on the scene and tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead.
Temperature in the Los Angeles area that afternoon soared to 117 degrees. The National Weather Service had issues an excessive heat warning.
USPS trucks do NOT have air conditioning.
While Peggy’s cause of death is listed as hyperthermia, other significant conditions she had were obesity and heart disease, officials said. These conditions will usually impact someone’s ability to regulate their body temperature.
Peggy had worked for the Postal Service for 28 years, and she was only months from retirement.
The LA Postal Service just got the coroner’s report, but they said they do not comment on employee personnel matters. However, a postal service representative has said that the agency strives to ensure that mail carriers have the appropriate tools and training to deliver main in all kinds of weather.
Now federal workplace-safety investigators have launched a probe into her death.
Back in July of 2012, a mail carrier in Missouri collapsed while working his route and died as a result of his exposure to excessive heat. An OSHA investigation found that the Postal Service “did not have procedures in place to address worker concerns during times of excessive heat.”
Then in October of 2016, OSHA cited the Postal Service after two Des Moines, Iowa, workers suffered heat-related illness while delivering mail that past summer. The agency found that the two mail carriers, one of whom was told to continue working her route despite feeling ill, were exposed to excessive heat.
More than 600 people in the U.S. are killed by extreme heat each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Also, after doing some research, I found that there are petitions demanding mail carriers have air conditioning. I also found that some new mail carrier vehicles of 2018 will air conditioning.