USPS Worker Dies in Extreme Heat, Prompts Schedule Changes


Texas heat wave creates extreme conditions for mail carriers


USPS Schedule Changes After Worker’s Death

According to a San Antonio Express-News report, a worker’s death in Dallas on June 20, 2023, prompted the USPS schedule to shift an hour earlier to protect its workers.

Eguene Gates Jr., 66, died while delivering the mail in what authorities believe to be a heat-related condition. This prompted the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) president to announce that workers in North Texas would begin their shifts an hour earlier in the wake of the tragedy to avoid the heat and protect the rest of the workers. The National Weather Service expects this heat wave to continue for the remainder of June.

Did You Know?

Eight children have died this year due to pediatric vehicular heatstroke in the United States, including one four-year-old boy from Texas.

Heat Stroke and Worker’s Comp in Texas

The unusual heat wave in Texas this month has already caused 93 reported emergency room visits and EMS calls as people are suffering in the intense heat. Unfortunately, heat stroke is commonly overlooked as a source of extreme danger and injury for workers in Texas.

Heat-Related Injuries

Heat-related injuries can cause a plethora of life-threatening health issues, including:

  • Organ malfunction, including heart, liver, and kidney malfunction,
  • Blood disorders,
  • Nerve damage,
  • Muscle malfunction,
  • and death.

Additionally, many of those suffering from heat-related illnesses on the job are most at risk on their first day on the job. In fact, OSHA reports that 80% of all reported heat-related injuries occur on the first four days on the job for new employees.

Sources of Heat-Related Injuries

Heat stroke is not a condition exclusive to construction work or even outdoor work. OSHA recognizes two types of heat source hazards.

  1. Environmental Heat – This heat hazard is a result of exposure to extreme environmental conditions. However, the worker does not need to be outside to be exposed to these conditions. Working near the fire, hot lights, or in buildings that do not have proper ventilation count for extreme environmental heat exposure.
  2. Metabolic Heat – This heat hazard is a result of the heat that the body produces naturally during physical activity. This kind of heat becomes a hazard if an employee is wearing restrictive clothing, engaging in extreme physical activity, or is wearing protective clothing that covers most of the skin and/or does not breathe. 

OSHA recommends elevated awareness and caution in temperatures of 91 degrees. With temperatures well over 100 degrees in Texas right now, it’s especially important that employers take precautions to keep their workers safe from heat stroke.

Proving Worker’s Comp for Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is covered by worker’s compensation, and negligence on the part of the employer is not necessary for a claim. However, it must be proven that the heat stroke was a direct result of the work environment. This can be complicated if you have a pre-existing condition, but if the nature of the job caused your heat-related injury, you are entitled to worker’s comp either way. Our worker’s comp team at Carabin Shaw can help file your worker’s compensation claim.

Worker’s Compensation Attorneys Serving Texas

Filing any kind of Worker’s Comp claim in Texas can be complicated. The attorneys at Carabin Shaw are here to help with that. If you have been injured on the job and need help filing your worker’s comp claim in Texas, contact the team of attorneys at Carabin Shaw with thirty years of experience at 800-862-1260. We look forward to serving you.

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