Hot-weather work protections pitched in Congress

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Southern California is bracing for several days of what the National Weather Service is calling "dangerously hot conditions."

Temperatures are expected to jump 5 to 10 degrees above normal with 100-degree-plus weather in communities like Lancaster and Palmdale.

For Amazon delivery worker Juan Cedra, the hot weather takes a toll.

"It's tough. It gets really hot," Cedra said. "I bring a lot of water. I just don't think about it."

But hot weather can be deadly to some outdoor workers. Last July, U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Peggy Frank died after working in a mail truck with no air conditioning. The temperature outside was over 100 degrees.

"It's brutal. It's like baking me all day," said postal worker Lauryn Carter.

When we caught up to Carter on her route in Van Nuys, she was assigned a newer mail truck with air conditioning. But sometimes she ends up in a truck that has no air conditioning.

"The older ones, its just a little fan. I don't like driving those," Carter said. "They get hot, like over 115 (degrees inside)."

But new federal legislation is hoping to change that. The Peggy Frank Memorial Act introduced by Congressman Tony Cardenas would require every postal vehicle to be equipped with air conditioners.

Congresswoman Judy Chu has introduced a bill that focuses on all workers who spend any amount of time in hot conditions.

"OSHA is supposed to be watching out for standards of safety for workers, but there are no provisions for dealing with heat illness," Chu told Eyewitness News.

Chu's bill would require employers to provide mandatory shade, water and rest periods to their workers.
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