Standard Cited:5A0001 OSH Act General Duty Paragraph

Violation Items
Nr: 917092.015 Citation: 01001 Issuance: 12/04/2013 ReportingID: 0134000
Viol Type:Serious NrInstances:1 Contest Date:12/30/2013
Abatement Date:01/23/2014 Nr Exposed:60 Final Order:04/30/2014
Initial Penalty:7000 REC:A Emphasis:
Current Penalty:7000 Gravity:10 Haz Category:
Substance: 8330 Heat Stress

Penalty and Failure to Abate Event History
Type Event Date Penalty abatement Type FTA Insp
Penalty Z: Issued 12/04/2013 7000 01/23/2014 Serious  
Penalty :   12/30/2013 7000 01/23/2014 Serious  
Penalty F: Formal Settlement 04/30/2014 7000 01/23/2014 Serious  


Text For Citation: 01 Item/Group: 001 Hazard:

OSH ACT of 1970 Section (5)(a)(1): The employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that employees were exposed to excessive heat while delivering the U.S. mail. Such exposure(s) may lead to serious and life-threatening heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion: On or about July 5, 2013, at job sites located on mail routes in and around Medford, Massachusetts, the United States Postal Service exposed employees walking their mail routes to the recognized hazard of working in excessive heat. With the afternoon temperatures reaching 94 degrees, the humidity up to 46%, the heat index in excess of 100 degrees, and the area under a Heat Advisory from the National Weather Service, a letter carrier collapsed after walking his route for approximately 5 hours between noon and 5 p.m. with a mail bag weighing up to 35 pounds. He was taken to the hospital where his core body temperature was reported to be 110 degrees. He died on July 6, 2013. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Medical Examiner's Office, the cause of death was heat stroke. Feasible and acceptable methods to abate this hazard include, but are not limited to: 1. Implementing adequately a heat stress management program tailored to the particulars of the employer's work, with measures to address the recognized hazard of exposure to excessive heat, and which prepares employees to recognize, prevent, respond to and report heat-related illness symptoms. Such program may include the following: a. Reminding employees to take their breaks in the shade or in a cool, climate-controlled area. b. Providing procedures to be followed for heat-related emergency situations and procedures for first aid to be administered immediately to employees in those situations. c. Establishing work rules that instruct employees to report to management heat stress symptoms and seek assistance and evaluation when experiencing them. d. Training managers and supervisors in the proper initial response to employees reporting heat-related illness symptoms, which may include: instructing them to stop work, drink water, rest, get to a shady and cool place, and call 911. e. Requiring trained managers or supervisors to go into the field to conduct in-person evaluations of employees complaining of heat-related illness symptoms, and arrange for medical attention or other assistance as necessary. f. Going into the field to check on employees when National Weather Service heat advisories are in effect. g. Training managers, supervisors, and employees in the measures to take to prevent heat-related illnesses, how to recognize in themselves and others the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and the procedures to follow when they or others are experiencing heat-related illnesses. Such training could be conducted annually in advance of the hot weather season and throughout the season when excessive heat is predicted. All managers, supervisors, and employees could be required to confirm their receipt and understanding of the training and records of said training could be maintained. h. Establishing a protocol to ensure that managers and supervisors are communicating to employees USPS-disseminated heat stress information, including safety talks, fully and in a timely manner.