ALBANY, NY (WENY)– Last summer Chris Cappadona, a UPS driver, went to the hospital after suffering a heat stroke while delivering packages in his work truck that does not have air conditioning.
“It’s not something you really see coming. You’re going about your day doing your job and then you just get really lightheaded, your hands lock up, you get cold and clammy. When you start feeling that you start to panic,” he said.
Cappadona traveled to Albany this week to advocate with other workers and union organizations for two workers safety bills recently introduced in both chambers.
One bill would require warehouse employers to establish an injury reduction program. The other bill would regulate temperature protection standards and reporting requirements for indoor and outdoor workers in industries like commercial trucking
“We want to make sure that truck drivers, people that work outside, in warehouses are able to actually have a regulated work environment. Nobody should be too cold or too hot,” said Senator Jessica Ramos (D-13th Senate District).
Sen. Ramos said the temperature protection standards would include mandating breaks.
During his hospital visit, Cappadona’s doctor told him breaks are necessary when working in high heat temperatures.
But Cappadona said he does not feel supported by UPS.
“This is a multi-billion-dollar company that cares more about the packages and the trucks than the actual workers,” he said.
In an email statement to WENY News, UPS wrote the safety of their workers is their top priority. UPS stated they have a network of health and safety professionals and resources available to employees.
Both bills are currently still in Senate and Assembly committees but some lawmakers seem confident they will cross the finish line by the end of session.
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