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Valley UPS driver says he was hospitalized for heat exhaustion

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 01:43:03-04

The fear of retaliation is a reality for many local UPS drivers. Another UPS driver, who asked not to be identified, is speaking up after seeing so many people getting hurt, including himself.

"I'm kind of terrified of being interviewed right now because, if they somehow find out it was me, I'm sure I'll lose my job." says UPS driver who asked not to be identified. "I want us to be able to not have to worry about dying when we come in to work."

One of his 12-hour workdays recently took a turn.

"Lightheaded and dizzy and started to get tunnel vision," says driver.

That shift ended with a trip to the hospital, which he barely remembers.

"I ended up collapsing on the floor," says driver.

Documentation shows what that driver was treated for: heat exhaustion.

"When I actually went to the hospital that day, I drank two gallons of water, two Gatorades, a couple other sports drinks like that," says driver.

We're told the long work hours are only adding to the problem.

"Contractually, we're not supposed to come in on our sixth day, unless it's peak season," says driver.

That driver tells us if you call out, you get written up.

In a statement, a representative with UPS told us Wednesday:

"We never want our employees to continue working to the point that they risk their health or work in an unsafe manner. We also offer our employees multiple ways to share their concerns with us without fear of retaliation, and we promptly address issues when they are brought to our attention."

Drivers say there's a risk in putting up a fight, even when the union representing them is involved.

"It doesn't mean that the management can't start putting you on the crappy route of the week. You know, you're out all night long... you know, don't see your family the rest of the week, you know, and it's retaliation," says driver.

After reporting on the concerns and conditions of local UPS drivers, ABC15 viewers are hoping to help drivers in the meantime as they wait for long-term change.

Some people have started putting out a cooler with refreshments and snacks outside of their homes to make sure drivers stay hydrated and have enough energy to continue working in the extreme heat.