During a blistering heatwave in Texas, a UPS driver became unwell while on duty and tragically passed away.
According to a UPS statement, Christopher Begley, 57, passed away this week after falling ill earlier this month while delivering packages in North Texas, where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees. The precise cause of his death remains under investigation, and UPS is actively cooperating with authorities.
“We educate our employees to identify signs of heat stress and promptly assist when needed,” stated the delivery company in response to Local Newspaper.
Approximately a month following UPS’s agreement with the Teamsters Union, which mandates the installation of air conditioning in its delivery vehicles and other enhancements to drivers’ working conditions, this unfortunate demise occurred.
Begley, a dedicated UPS employee with 27 years of service, initially reported feeling unwell on August 23 and was promptly taken off duty by UPS. Subsequently, he requested and was granted several days off from work.
UPS responded promptly to Begley’s initial call for assistance, ensuring he had access to water and a comfortable, cool environment. Despite feeling ill, Begley declined medical assistance on multiple occasions, assuring the company he had recovered.
Tragically, it was only several days later that UPS management learned of Begley’s hospitalization, and he sadly passed away shortly thereafter.
Notably, the installation of air conditioning units in UPS delivery trucks became a significant point of contention among union members, who had threatened to strike earlier in the summer. However, they ultimately ratified a new contract on August 22.
This issue gained attention last year when UPS drivers shared photos depicting thermometers inside the company’s trucks registering temperatures as high as approximately 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A video of a UPS driver collapsing from what appeared to be heat exhaustion also stirred public outrage during the previous summer.