Sen. Kyrsten Sinema highlights need for air conditioned Postal Service vehicles in Arizona
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — With high temperatures hitting 111 degrees in Phoenix, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema focused on the effects hot United States Postal Service vehicles have on workers. She recently held a field hearing at the USPS District Office in Phoenix. She said of the 3,625 USPS vehicles in the state, only 583, or less than 20%, have air conditioning. “These high temperatures and the inability to avoid the heat during a shift creates a dangerous environment for the men and women who deliver our mail each day,” Sinema said.
USPS district manager for Arizona and New Mexico, John Morgan, also testified about the heat and employees. There are about 10,000 USPS workers in Arizona, with 3,600 on the street and in the heat. Morgan said there were 12 heat-related incidents in 2022 so far, compared to 23 incidents in 2021. He added most of those don’t require medical care, but a medical expert usually comes out and evaluates the situation.
The effects of the summer heat are not only felt in Arizona but nationwide. According to the Center for Public Integrity, more than 900 USPS employees suffered serious injury or death due to heat between 2012 and 2018 across the country.
During her field hearing, Sinema urged USPS to bring more air-conditioned vehicles into Arizona when the new fleet is rolled out starting in late 2023 and lasting until 2027.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.