It is so hot in Phoenix, Arizona, that a local postal worker seeking to draw attention to mail carriers’ working conditions was able cook a steak to medium temperature on the dashboard of his sweltering van.
Republican Arizona State Representative Shawnna Bolick last week called for an investigation into what she described as reports of hazardous working conditions for USPS employees in her district.
Bolick shared on her Facebook page a series of photos sent to her by the unnamed US Postal Service employee from Phoenix documenting the cooking process of the steak inside his van, where temperatures reached 128 degrees.
From raw to cooked: A USPS worker in Phoenix, Arizona, in late July cooked a steak to internal temperature of 142 degrees on the dashboard of his mail delivery van
In the images, the slab of meat goes from not fully thawed to cooked in two-and-a-half hours, between 10am and 12.30pm.
The final product, sliced on a cutting board to reveal its pink center, had an internal temperature of 142 degrees, which indicates medium doneness.
Republican Arizona State Representative Shawnna Bolick shared photos of the steak to draw attention to what she described as hazardous working conditions
Bolick attached the pictures to a letter she sent to Mark Dimonstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, demanding that he look into the matter.
‘It is shocking to hear of postal workers having to endure the extreme Arizona temperatures that result in delivery trucks, many of which do not have air conditioning, regularly reaching above 128 degrees,’ Bolick wrote. ‘Working conditions must be improved immediately to ensure the safety of mail carriers subjected to these dangerous temperatures.’
Bolick said a USPS worker from her district has been sending her every day photos of a digital thermometer in his van to show how hot it got, with the readings averaging 128 degrees last month.
The same worker conducted the experiment with the steak in the last weekend of July, when temperatures outside soared to searing 111 degrees.
‘This is inexcusable,’ Bolick complained to the union president. ‘It is deplorable for our women and men delivery truck drivers to average temperatures above 128 degrees Fahrenheit inside their mail vehicles during the hottest hours of the day.’
Bolick’s letter notes she has been told that several Phoenix-area mail carriers have been sent to the hospital to be treated for heat stroke and heat exhalation after becoming disoriented in their vans.
Bolick said mail carriers in her district do not have air conditioning in their delivery trucks (stock image)
The postal worker conducted the steak experiment in late July, when temperatures in Phoenix topped 100 degrees
‘I implore you to review any safety or incident reports that have been filed and hold necessary hearings to help improve the working conditions of your members because right now they are inhumane,’ the lawmaker added.
The USPS sent a statement to ABC15 addressing Bolick’s concerns.
‘We want to emphasize the Postal Service works to protect its employees all year through a strong health and safety program,’ it read. ‘This includes instructions on messaging through the handheld carrier scanners, frequent service talks on recognizing heat illnesses and taking shade or hydration, and street supervision that checks on carriers during the day. Our letter carriers work hard and we appreciate that effort in all conditions.’
This weather map shows that temperatures in Phoenix on Tuesday reached 104 degrees