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Feds cite postal service in death of Mass. carrier

December 17, 2013

MEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Federal workplace safety officials have cited the U.S. Postal Service in the July death of a mail carrier who collapsed while walking his route on a day when the heat index went over 100 degrees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration concluded the postal service had not implemented an adequate heat stress management program to help mail carriers identify, prevent and report symptoms of heat-related illnesses, WCVB-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1bbXc4Q ).

The postal service said in a statement that it disagrees with OSHA’s conclusions and continues to discuss what happened with the agency.

“The postal service places the safety and well-being of its employees as a top priority, and is saddened by the loss of our employee,” it said.

It added that it has in place a program to prevent heat stress that includes posters, talks for employees, videos and other efforts that describe heat stress and provide a list of symptoms and suggestions for ways to respond with first aid.

James Baldassarre, 45, of Haverhill had been walking his route in Medford in 94-degree heat on July 5 for about five hours and was carrying a bag that could weigh up to 35 pounds. He collapsed, then died the following day of heat stroke.


Information from: WCVB-TV, http://www.thebostonchannel.com

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