Legislation that would require all U.S. Postal Service delivery vehicles to have air conditioning — following the death of a 63-year-old carrier who was found inside her truck amid soaring temperatures in Woodland Hills in 2018 — is once again coming before Congress, Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Panorama City, announced Thursday.
Cardenas reintroduced the Peggy Frank Memorial Act, named after the North Hills resident who died from heat exhaustion in 117-degree weather while working her route. Frank’s postal truck did not have air conditioning.
Frank was found unresponsive in her truck in July 2018 and pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner’s office listed her primary cause of death as hyperthermia — above normal body temperature — and obesity, and idiopathic cardiomyopathy, or heart disease, as “other significant conditions.”
“Her death could have been prevented if her truck simply had air conditioning and the resources to keep her safe,” Cardenas said Thursday in a statement.
“We can’t bring her back, but we can do everything we can to protect the men and women who keep us connected by delivering letters, packages, prescriptions and so much more. It’s time to bring their vehicles to the 21st century by including climate controls that will protect them from extreme temperatures. We owe it to Peggy, her family and all postal workers to make sure civil servants stay healthy and safe. It’s the bare minimum.”
Cardenas first introduced the bill in 2019. It was co-sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, but did not advance in the House of Representatives during the Congressional session.
The bill would require the Postal Service to install air conditioning in its vehicles within three years.
About 70% of the Postal Service’s 230,000 vehicles do not have air conditioning, according to Cardenas’ office.
Between 2015 and 2018, at least 93 Postal Service employees were hospitalized for confirmed or suspected heat-related illnesses, according to an analysis of data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by the Center for Public Integrity.
Source: NBC Los Angeles