Chartered 1889, Serving the Bronx and Manhattan

David Velazquez

Director of Safety and Health

David was elected the Director of Safety and Health in 2010. A position he has held for 12 years and was recently re-elected in 2022. David’s Postal and Union membership began in 1984. In 2007, David was elected Shop Steward by his fellow coworkers. David’s willingness to learn and volunteer made him an easy pick for many positions within the Branch. When the branch needed someone to coordinate the Food Drive in 2008, David was right there. In 2010 David became a Formal A Representative as well as the Customer Connect Coordinator. David did not stop there. His ability to organize landed him the coordinator position of the MDA bowl-a-thon. His multitasking abilities are unmatched. During all the years of service to Branch 36 and through all the positions he held, David managed to also be a part of all the minor route adjustment teams beginning in 2008. When the need arises, we can all trust David’s sound advice and knowledge to keep us all safe. In 2022, David was re-elected to the position of Director of Safety and Health


Postal Service, at the insistence of the NALC, and because of many OSHA citations throughout the country, has implemented its own Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP), which requires annual training for all city letter carriers and their supervisors. From 2015–2018, the Postal Service reported that a total of 2000 carriers suffered heat-related medical problems.
The goal of this program is to keep letter carriers safe by helping them understand the early signs of heat stress, to prevent serious injury and even death. This program will not work if it’s not followed, so shop stewards should ensure that the program is applied. The HIPP can be found on the NALC website under “Safety and Health,” or through the USPS HERO portal.
The HIPP will be in effect from April 1 through Oct. 31, and at any other time when weather reports issued by the National Weather Service for a particular work location indicate that the outdoor heat index temperatures are expected to exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the course of a workday or work shift. The HIPP requires annual training for all employees, regardless of potential exposure to heat, before April 1st of each year. Currently, the employer is required to conduct the training at work, on the clock, so that all letter carriers receive the necessary information. This training is also available through the Postal Service’s HERO platform, which can be accessed via LiteBlue. This training covers the effects of heat on the body, risk factors and treatments.
It is the responsibility of each installation head to ensure that employees complete the above-referenced HERO course. Employees must complete this training prior to April 1 each year. Employees who are absent when the training is provided are required to be provided with the training prior to returning to street duties, during the period April 1st through October 31st.
Shop stewards and branch officers should ensure that all letter carriers are receiving this annual training, especially city carrier assistants, who are often subject to later start times and excluded from training stand-up talks. New employees and employees returning from an extended absence also must be considered, as they are especially vulnerable to heat because they may not be acclimated.
Plan for and respond to a heat-related emergency. Be sure to review the poster in your office and ask your supervisor for a copy of the program.
Don’t let your guard down while delivering mail in the summer heat. For the next few months, letter carriers will be required to work briefly or for sustained periods in hot weather conditions. Letter Carriers will face special hazards that such work entails. Regardless of your age or physical condition, avoid overexertion in the summer. Hot weather puts a strain on your heart even without exercise. Being uncomfortable is not the major problem letter carriers face working in high temperatures and high humidity. Letter carriers exposed to working in a hot environment face additional and generally unavoidable hazards to their safety and health.
Be cautious when you are delivering your routes. Don’t let yourself be overcome by hot weather. Watch out for heat-related problems, such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. To reduce these problems, I urge all letter carriers to be aware of the following symptoms: dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, or dry pale skin without sweating. Be prepared, stay hydrated. Call 911 for immediate medical attention if you feel symptoms of a heat related illness.
Safety Captains get started on your summertime concerns. On your next Safety and Health Committee meeting you should be discussing what actions or plans are in place in the event the air-condition system fails to operate during the upcoming summer heat. Such plans could consist of providing fans on the work floor, refreshments and frequent breaks to help stay cool. When the AC fails management needs to take immediate action to have it repaired. Do not wait till the AC system fails to start having these discussions. Very important don’t forget to file PS Form 1767. For additional information concerning HIPP, reference the May 2023 Postal Record pgs. 33-36. Always remember you are your most important delivery. Have a safe and happy summer.

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