Sending Office: Honorable Tony Cardenas
Co-signers: Cárdenas, Holmes Norton
Please join me in sending a letter to the Postmaster General to urge the U.S. Postal Service to include air conditioning units in their next generation mail trucks.
On July 6, 2018, a postal carrier in Woodlands Hills, CA died tragically from overheating inside her mail truck on a
117-degree day. USPS postal delivery vehicles are not usually equipped with air conditioning, so temperatures inside can reach excruciating levels.
The USPS is currently procuring several prototypes for its next generation fleet of mail trucks. This letter asks the Postal Service about its requirement for air-conditioned mail trucks and its safety protocols to protect letter carriers from extreme weather
Text of the letter is found below. The deadline to join this letter is COB on Thursday, October 25th.
For additional information or to join this letter, please contact Jose Villalvazo in my office at
Jose.Villalvazo@mail.house.gov or 5-6131.
Member of Congress
October XX, 2018
Megan J. Brennan
Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260
Dear Ms. Brennan:
We write to urge you to strongly consider implementing climate control units in U.S. Postal Service mail trucks for the safety of all mail carriers. Temperatures around the country can reach above 110 degrees during the most severe months, making it dangerous
for postal workers to remain inside their non-air-conditioned vehicles for continuous periods of time.
On July 6, 2018, a letter carrier in Woodlands Hills, CA died tragically from overheating inside her mail truck. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was hyperthermia, caused by excessively high body temperature.[i]
No public service employee should have to bear these conditions. The safety of postal workers should be a top priority for the USPS. Although the USPS implements a Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP), these precautions are not enough to ensure the well-being
of all postal workers given that temperatures can reach excruciating degrees inside their mail delivery vehicles.
We understand that USPS is in the process of selecting the next generation delivery vehicle (NGDV) to replace more than 160,000 vehicles currently under operation.[ii] Under USPS’s current minimum standards for
the NGDV, air conditioning is listed as an optional requirement for potential suppliers, and that “the benefits of air conditioning are under review by the USPS.”[iii] As you continue the procurement process, we
ask that you take in consideration the rigid conditions letter carriers across the country must endure in the face of record heat waves.
We ask that you provide answers to the following questions in hopes that we may better understand the procurement process for the NGDV and safety mechanisms set in place for letter carriers:
- What is the status of the review process regarding the benefits of air-conditioned mail trucks?
- What is the timeline for USPS beyond procurement of prototypes and selection of the NGDV fleet?
- Besides the Heat Illness Prevention Program, what steps is USPS taking to mitigate the risks of overheating?
- What protocols are in place to protect postal carriers from other extreme weather conditions, such as dangerously cold temperatures, or other natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes?
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to your response to learn more about how we can help USPS ensure the safety of its workers.
[i] Gazzar, Brenda. “Woodland Hills mail carrier died of overheating on 117-degree day, coroner’s official says.”
Los Angeles Daily News.
[ii] United States Postal Service Specification: Vehicle, Carrier Route, Right-Hand Drive. Draft. (U.S. Postal Service Engineering: Merrifield, CA), January, 2015. 1
[iii] United States Postal Service Specification: Vehicle, Carrier Route, Right-Hand Drive. Draft. (U.S. Postal Service Engineering: Merrifield, CA), January, 2015. 23
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