Top Considerations For Mail Delivery In Extreme Heat

In light of the recent tragic death of a USPS employee, we thought it was important to write about the heat and how to protect yourself while on your routes in scorching temperatures.

Employers are required by law to protect employees from hazards in the workplace, and that includes extreme heat. We recommend speaking with your supervisor so you can fully understand what you are to do during this dangerous weather condition.

In the meantime, there are a lot of things you should keep in mind while delivering mail in excessive heat that we’re going to cover today.

 

New Workers Must Take Extra Care

New workers who are not acclimatized to working in a hot, strenuous outdoor environment are more at risk of developing heat-related illnesses.

If you’re new to the job be sure to take frequent breaks to recover from the heat. Pay close attention to your body and the warning signs of heat illness. Until you are accustomed to working in such conditions, you are more likely to become ill from the heat.

Pay Attention To The Heat Index

The Heat Index takes into account both the temperature of the air and the humidity. The heat index will help you identify how the heat will feel to you physically. There is a misconception that a higher heat index doesn’t lead to a higher rate of heat illness, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Heat advisories and heat warnings exist for a reason so don’t ignore them.

Higher humidity means there is more moisture in the air, making it difficult for sweat to evaporate. This means your body is not being cooled as much as it normally would be. Always pay attention to the humidity when on a route.

It is also important to note that the heat index may be even hotter in direct sunlight. Keep in the shade as much as possible while on your route.

Stay Hydrated

Making sure you drink plenty of water is paramount when it comes to working in excessive heat. Don’t drink only when you feel thirsty, drink small amounts of water on a regular basis throughout the day. Two to four glasses of cool water per hour is recommended.

Drinking soda, juice, or other sugary beverages will cause you to lose body fluid. Stick to water, and make sure it’s not too cold or it can cause stomach cramping.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Because direct sunlight can make your body noticeably hotter, protecting yourself from the sun is extremely important. Try to keep to the shade whenever possible. Investing in some type of sun hat is a great way to keep the sun off your neck and face, and out of your eyes.

Sunburn is also a real threat when working outdoors, so be sure to use ample amounts of sunscreen.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and sun hats are all critical for keeping you cool while on your route. We have an entire section of summer Postal uniforms on our website to make them easy for you to find. These uniform options are lightly colored and lightweight to keep you as cool as possible.

If you’d like more details about the type of uniform items you should invest in for summer, we dedicated an entire post to it.

Treat Early Signs Of Heat Illness

If you begin experiencing early signs of heat illness, give the symptoms immediate attention. By treating early symptoms with rest, shade, and water, you are more likely to avoid a medical emergency.

Some early symptoms to be aware of include cramping, headaches, and weakness. If you begin experiencing these types of symptoms, take action immediately. Even if you are near the end of your shift, don’t push yourself. Heat stroke is nothing to mess around with.

Find our breakdown of heat illness symptoms HERE.

Take Frequent Breaks

How often you take breaks will depend on the heat that day, but make sure you do take frequent ones in the shade or air conditioning.

Doing strenuous work in the heat can be extremely dangerous, so space out these activities when possible. Remember if you ever begin to develop symptoms of heat illness that you need to rest somewhere cool and drink some water. The mail isn’t worth your life.

Use Additional Cooling Products

There are other, more creative ways you can keep cool while on your route. MyPostalUniforms.com carries a variety of non-reimbursable summer accessories to help you during those hotter days. Neck cooling wraps and bandanas are two of our most popular products.

Cooling vests are another great option, and when all else fails a damp cloth can make a world of difference.

Be Aware Of Your Own Special Circumstances

While excessive heat is dangerous for everyone, your personal situation can have a huge impact on how you react to the heat.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can make your body and skin more sensitive to sunlight. Medical conditions such as heart disease can also make you more vulnerable to the heat. Autoimmune diseases in particular are more likely to flare up due to heat, as well as asthma.

Pay attention to your body. Look up side effects of your medication and talk to a doctor about any medical conditions you have. You may want to talk to your supervisor about any concerns you may have.

Stay safe out there everyone, and don’t forget to stay cool by shopping for summer uniforms.

Comments Off on Top Considerations For Mail Delivery In Extreme Heat

Should All USPS Employees Be Required to Wear Postal Uniforms?

When looking at the makeup of the USPS, letter carriers fall into two categories – city carriers and rural carriers. While all letter carriers deliver mail and parcels, the rules and regulations they face while on the job can differ greatly.

Rural letter carriers are to be neatly dressed and presentable, but they are not required to wear a USPS uniform. Rural letter carriers often do more than just deliver the mail; they also sell stamps, offer signature confirmation, and other tasks that can be fulfilled at a traditional Postal counter. Due to this visibility, some people are calling for rural letter carriers to begin wearing Postal uniforms, just like city carriers do.

In addition, the USPS has begun employing more and more temporary workers. Non-career workers often do not receive any allowance for uniforms. What this sometimes means is that a non-career letter carrier will arrive at an individual’s mailbox in street clothing, which can be alarming for customers.

So, should all letter carriers be required to wear a uniform?

 

Yes To Uniforms!

~ Customers are less likely to react with suspicion to Postal workers approaching their mailboxes and homes due to a lack of uniform.

~ Increased safety for letter carriers.

~ Provide a positive, professional image of the USPS to customers while delivering the mail.

~ Alleviate customer confusion, making customers more likely to approach with questions or for additional Postal services.

~ Uniforms allow customers to better understand when an individual is illegally accessing their mailbox.

No To Uniforms!

~ Added financial strain to the USPS.

~ Added financial strain to USPS employees without any Uniform Allowance.

~ USPS should focus on fixing other, more pressing issues such as better delivery times, better training, and building maintenance.

~ Uniforms cost too much money. Instead, require all rural carriers to have signage or graphics attached to their delivery vehicle.

~ Uniforms are often uncomfortable and not feasible for constant wear while working a rural delivery route in a vehicle.

What’s your take? Should all letter carriers be required to wear Postal uniforms? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Comments Off on Should All USPS Employees Be Required to Wear Postal Uniforms?

How To Choose Postal Shoes

The shoes you wear while on the job are one of the most important aspects of your Postal uniform. When you’re on your feet all day and walking miles and miles, you need the right shoes. With so many options out there it can be difficult to choose a pair. That’s why today we want to offer our advice about what you need to consider while making a Postal shoe purchase.

First off, we recommend keeping several pairs of Postal shoes on hand. You’ll want to wear different shoes for different occasion, and you may want to rotate the shoes you wear day-to-day. A lighter shoe is better for summer while a waterproof shoe is needed in rain and snow. Consider this while looking at your uniform allowance.

Secondly, always buy Postal Approved shoes. Not only will they last longer, but they can save you a lot of hassle. If you fall or injure yourself and you aren’t wearing USPS approved shoes the injury may be contested and you can be blamed for wearing improper footwear. Do yourself a favor and make sure you invest in USPS approved footwear.

Consider buying insoles to add to your shoes. They can add some extra comfort and will help your shoes last longer. Even if you have to spend money out of pocket for them, it’s worth it. Don’t invest in cheap ones; buy high quality insoles that suit your feet. It makes a huge difference.

If you don’t want to invest in shoes designed specifically for winter, invest in overshoes you can wear over your usual Postal shoes. Use these to keep your feet warm and dry while you keep your feet supported and comfortable in your usual USPS shoes.

When it comes to really rainy days pull-on rain boots are excellent, particularly when combined with rain pants. Even waterproof shoes can only be so effective, simply because they are not big enough. If you have to deliver mail in a downpour, rubber boots are a must. Make sure they have a good grip so you don’t slip.

But one of the most important things you need to keep in mind is to buy shoes with good support and good traction. These are basic tips but so important. Shoes that are too flat are going to hurt your feet. You can’t just wear any type of walking shoe.

Take care when selecting your Postal shoes. Choose your shoe width and shoe size wisely. Rotate your shoes and wear extra overshoes and boots when necessary. We have a huge selection of Postal shoes on our website. If you have any questions about our Postal shoes please feel free to call us at 1-800-229-4500 and a customer service representative will help you out.

Comments Off on How To Choose Postal Shoes

Our Favorite Rain Gear

April is just around the corner, meaning a lot of rain while out on your routes. Today we’re featuring our favorite rain gear that will help keep you dry!

Our first choice is the Postal Rainwear 42” Long Coat.

This long coat is designed to keep more of your body dry than a standard jacket or parka. Use a detachable hood so you can easily remove it when the rain slows down. This coat also features reflective postal ribbons, so you can stay seen and safe even in the pouring rain. This coat is easy to put on and remove, so you can even leave it in your vehicle until you need it.

If you don’t want such a long garment, you may like the Postal Rainwear Lined Parka.

The parka keeps less of you dry, but can be less cumbersome to wear than a long coat. It features a zipper front along with snap closures to keep you extra warm and dry on chilly, wet days. Like our long coat, it is designed with reflective postal ribbons to increase your safety. This parka also has an attached roll-up hood, so there’s no need to attach or detach anything to keep your head dry.

If you choose to stick with a shorter coat, you may want Postal Rainwear Trousers.

Not only will these trousers keep you dry, they’ll keep you comfortable. They are made with an elastic waistband, fly front, take up snaps on the waist, AND slash openings on the sides so they can slip over shoes with ease. Like our other rain gear, these trousers feature postal reflective ribbons. Pairing these with the right jacket will keep you as dry as possible on your route.

One of our absolute favorites is the Postal Rainwear 35” Long Cape.

This cape keeps the rain off not only you, but your mail. Simply slip this on, attach it to your coat, and keep your mail safe and dry inside. This is the perfect item to keep in your vehicle for impromptu rain showers, since it is a simple addition to your uniform. The reflective postal ribbon is on this cape as well. It’s a favorite among letter carriers for rainy conditions!

The last item we’re featuring is the Postal Rainwear Detachable Hood.

This item, like all the rain gear we’ve featured here today, is certified by the United States Navy Clothing and Textile Facility. You can snap it onto raincoats so you have a rain repellent hood whenever you need it. The sizing is universal, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect one for your head. This is a great addition to our other rain gear items to keep you extra dry.

Comments Off on Our Favorite Rain Gear

Warm Your Hands and Head

We’re right in the middle of winter, and it’s clear that keeping warm is important. Having a warm, reliable coat of some kind is usually the first thing on people’s minds, but there are other body parts you have to keep in mind as well. Your head and your hands can quickly and easily get cold, which can make the rest of you feel cold pretty quickly as well.

To keep your hands warm in winter, you need good gloves. These gloves should generally be thick, waterproof, and lined for warmth. For cold days you’ll want hats that cover the ears snugly, so no wind can get to them. We want to feature some of our best hats and gloves that will keep you warm for the rest of winter.

Postal Thinsulate Winter Gloves

This form fitting glove is lined with insulation for extra warmth on those cold winter days. The waterproof bladder keeps the water out and your hands dry. These gloves are designed with a sewn-in pocket for hand warmers so you can stay extra toasty. The fleece cuff keeps the wind and water out. This is a great glove for cold, snowy conditions.

 

Winter Trooper Cap

Keep your ears warm with this fur-lined Trooper cap! The fur is sure to keep you toasty through the snow and wind. This cap is designed with ear flaps that can be used for added warmth on those very cold days. The cap features the USPS insignia patch on the front, making you easily identifiable while on your route. You can be sure you’re getting the quality you expect, as it is made here in the USA.

 

WaterProof Winter Gloves

These gloves are specifically designed for cold, wet, wintery conditions. These gloves have triple layer technology to keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable. They are 100% waterproof and windproof to keep the cold out, while the micro-fleece liner keeps warmth in. This is the perfect all-purpose winter work glove!

 

Postal Hat with Facemask

This knit postal hat will keep you warm in cold conditions. It comes with an attached face mask which can be tucked away or pulled down to keep the wind off your face. This hat features the USPS insignia patch on the front of the hat to make you easily identifiable. Get a quality hat you can count on when you invest in this union made product!

 

Lake Effect Waterproof Gloves

Use these Lake Effect Waterproof gloves to keep your hands dry and comfortable even in the wettest conditions. They feature Hydroblok, which is a breathable but waterproof membrane inside the durable woven shell. These gloves have superior gripping and Thinsulation insulation to keep the gloves soft and warm.

 

 

These products are sure to keep your head and hands warm, dry, and comfortable this winter. Stay warm out there!

Comments Off on Warm Your Hands and Head

Get Your Free 2017 Uniforms Catalog

oct_catalog

The MyPostalUniforms.com 2017 uniforms catalog is now available both online and in print format. Ordering a uniforms catalog is a quick, free way to get information about uniform purchasing to USPS employees.

Our new catalog is filled with products for all facets of the USPS, so you can rest assured that no matter the position, this catalog will have the uniforms all USPS employees need.

Here’s a breakdown of what you will find in our catalog.

Page 1-13 Letter/Carrier + Motor Vehicle Operator. In these pages you will find hats, shirts, pants and shorts, accessories, outerwear, and more

Page 16-23 Retail Operations. In this section window clerks will find all the uniform items they need to do their jobs such as shirts, pants, accessories, sweaters, and much more.

Page 25-29 Work Clothes. Shirts, pants, and outerwear are just a few of the products you will find in this section of the catalog.

Page 30-44 Footwear. You’ll be blown away by our wide range of footwear products. From boots and shoes to insoles and socks, we have it all.

Page 45-49 Gloves Whether you need a waterproof, windproof glove to protect you in winter or a simple utility glove, we can deliver.

Page 53-64 and 66-87 all contain non-reimbursable specialties, some for carriers and some for vehicles. Here you’ll find pins and aprons, straps and cooling cloths, safety vests and postal flags, and much, much more.

That’s just the bare bones of our catalog. This outline doesn’t include some of our smaller sections, such as stamps or CCA uniforms. You can view it online or click here to request your free copy of our 2017 uniforms catalog!

Comments Off on Get Your Free 2017 Uniforms Catalog

Our Five Favorite Fall Outerwear Products

Fall means it’s time to put away those shorts and start donning that outerwear to help combat the chill of the season. If you’re still looking for that perfect outerwear item, you’re in luck! We’ve put together a list of our favorite fall outerwear products to help you find the perfect items for the season.

  1. Postal Jacket with Zip-Out Linern1026555b

This jacket comes with a zip-out liner, making it great for those finicky fall temperatures. The insulated liner provides you with warmth for those chilly days, and can easily be removed as temperatures climb throughout the day. Reflective material is woven on each pocket as well as across the back to make letter carriers easier to see in dark and rainy conditions. This versatile jacket is made right here in the USA, so you can be sure you’re receiving a quality product.

  1. Thinsulate Postal Jacket with Zip-Out Linern1026555

Are you looking for a jacket you can use as you get closer to winter? Like the first jacket we mentioned, this USPS jacket also features a zip-out liner. The difference is that this insulated liner provides you with more warmth, making this a great option for November when the threat of an early snow looms. This jacket also features reflective materials on the pockets and back for letter carrier safety, and is also made right here in the USA.

  1. Postal Vestn1026552d

Invest in a product that is made in the USA and approved by the USPS. This insulated postal vest is perfect for cooling temperatures. It will keep you warm but give your arms plenty of freedom to move without being weighed down by fabric. To keep letter carriers safe, reflective material is woven into the pocket trim as well as across the back of the vest. Vest comes in both regular and long options.

  1. Postal Heavyweight Jacket/Linern1027785e

This USPS heavyweight jacket/liner is great for all types of weather. The insulated outershell will keep you warm, but it is also breathable, so you won’t feel stifled by the fabric. The outershell is made from water repellant polyester so you’ll stay dry during autumn rain. There’s plenty of fleece lining to keep you from getting chilly. Jacket is made right here in the USA, so you can rest assured this durable product is made to last.

  1. Postal Windbreakern1026554b

USA made, USPS certified…this postal windbreaker is sure to be an excellent choice for fall weather. It will keep you dry from the chilly fall rains, and keep you comfortable despite the cool autumn wind. This windbreaker resists both water and stains. It is designed with reflective material on both pockets to make you easier to spot. Use it for fall this year, then pull it back out for rainy spring conditions next year!

These five items are all excellent choices when it comes to outerwear for fall. If you’ve not quite found what you’re looking for, take some time to browse our full selection of outerwear.

Enjoy fall while you can, because winter is just around the corner!

Comments Off on Our Five Favorite Fall Outerwear Products

Stay Visible, Stay Safe

Fall is here, which means the sun is rising later and setting sooner. Many of you may be done with your routes and other work by the time that happens, but not all of you. When you factor in weather conditions such as fog and rain, particularly combined with these sunrise and sunset times, you may realize that at times you will be difficult to see.

Whether you’re in a parking lot or on a route, it is important that you are seen at all times. A lack of visibility can lead to any number of accidents. Keeping items with you that can be easily put on and utilized to keep you visible is extremely important. Luckily MyPostalUniforms.com has a large amount of these items to choose from.

n1031014Now the first safety item you probably think of that keeps you visible would be reflective vests, and for good reason. There are a few different options when it comes to vests. You may choose to go with a more standard route vest. These come in both blue and orange with reflective strips on the front and back. The orange vests are particularly likely to stand out. Mix that with the reflective strips and you aren’t likely to be missed. There are additional vests you may choose to invest in, only these are made in navy blue. The reflective strips for these vests are horizontal instead of vertical, across the front and back. If you want something a bit more customized, our printed safety vests are perfect for you. These vests are printed with the USPS logo as well as the title of the employee. This makes you both easy to see and identify.

n1030395Do vests seem like a bit much to you? Safety gloves are a good option to try instead. They not only keep the water and wind off your hands, they make you easy to spot. The bright yellow really stands out in the rain and dark. They may not be efficient with warmer weather, so you may want to invest in other safety materials as well.

n1030383Maybe you do live somewhere that is cold and you want to keep warm. A high visibility sweatshirt is perfect for you. These sweatshirts are warm, making them great for those cool, fall days. They come in either bright yellow or orange. This alone will help you stand out, but the sweatshirt also is designed with silver reflective tape to help you be even more visible.

n1017661If all of this sounds too cumbersome for you we have a small and simple solution. Reflectors for carriers are small and lightweight. They can be clipped on a pocket or postal bag as they are needed. You can choose either a red or blue reflector depending on your taste. These are less visible than vests of course, but they can be kept with you with almost no trouble and easily clip on and off.

All of these items are designed to make you easy to spot in inclement weather and the dark. These items are also non-reimbursable so you will have to use some of your own money for them, but your safety is worth it. If you have any questions about what items may work best for you, give us a call at 1-800-229-4500.

Comments Off on Stay Visible, Stay Safe

Stay Cool with Summer Uniforms

Summer is underway, which means hot sun and hot temperatures, leading to hot working conditions. While there’s not much you can do about the temperatures themselves, you can outfit yourself in uniform items that will keep you as cool as possible. Today we’re going to break down the contents of our Summer Postal Uniforms category.

N1029381_1_1When it comes to keeping cool, having the right postal shirt is very important. Of course, you’ll want to go with something that has short sleeves to get more air. You may choose to go with a more traditional postal shirt, or you may opt for the more comfortable knit postal shirt. No matter what you choose, make sure it has short sleeves!

N1026593cNext, you’ll need to consider if you want to opt for pants, shorts, or the popular culottes. We advise you to steer clear of pants in the summer months, as that will trap heat around your legs. You can find multiple styles of shorts to suit your needs on our website. Our culottes are a great way to make your uniform a bit more classy while still having the same great benefits of shorts.

N1028849Another consideration is if you want to wear a hat. We highly recommend this. Hats keep the sun off your head and neck, which will have a significant impact on how hot or cool you are feeling. There are several styles to choose from. Choosing a postal hat that is made with breathable fabric or some sort of ventilation is ideal, as it will not only keep the sun off but allow for some air flow.

N1021885cWe also encourage you to take a look at our non-reimbursable summer accessories. You’ll have to pay for these out of pocket, but the benefits of these items are worth it. We’re going to highlight just a couple for you. Our neck cooling wrap can be submerged in cold water or chilled in the freezer. This will give you up to 72 hours of relief from the heat. Similarly, our bandanna can be worn under a hat after being soaked in water to keep you cool. Use these items to stay extra cool on extra hot days.

When it comes to the uniforms that will keep you cool, these are the best of the best. This doesn’t cover general tips for staying cool during the summer. Check back early next month for all our tips for looking after yourself, both inside and outside of your vehicle, during the hotter months. Stay cool and stay safe out there!

Comments Off on Stay Cool with Summer Uniforms

Beat the Rain

pexels-photo-largeSpring is a popular time of year. The temperatures are rising and everything is starting to bloom. The downside to all this is that spring often comes with a lot of rain. Letter carriers have to deal with this rain on a regular basis. It can seem impossible to keep the mail, and yourself, dry.

While there’s no foolproof method to keeping dry in the rain, there are things you can do that will help.

Dress for the weather. This is by far your best defense against the rain. Your first line of defense should be a high quality rain coat. This can be a parka, a jacket, a coat…whatever it is you need to keep dry. If you want to stay as a dry as possible, go for waterproof over water resistant. When choosing one make sure you read the details, as you’ll want a coat that is breathable to prevent you from getting too warm. To keep properly dry you’ll also want to invest in some waterproof pants. These can be worn over your normal pants to keep your legs nice and dry.

And don’t forget about your feet. It’s hard to be comfortable when your feet are soaked through. There’s a few options to choose from here. You may decide to go for rubber boots, a classic item to help you stay dry. If you love your current postal shoes though, you may instead invest in rubber overshoes to fit over your comfortable work shoes. For a final line of defense, go for some waterproof socks in case water manages to get past your shoes.

You may also choose to invest in a hat or disposable raincoats for unexpected showers. These are also great ways to keep dry on the job.

Protect the mail. Yes, some of the mail is going to get wet. This is N1026533inevitable. This doesn’t mean you should disregard the mail completely. Make the effort to keep the mail you are delivering as dry as possible. This can be particularly difficult if you have a walking route. You might choose to attempt using an umbrella while on your route, but this can be challenging while on the job. Keep the flap on your satchel over the mail as you walk, and if you’re carrying any keep it against your chest to keep it as dry as possible. This has limited effectiveness, but it is better than nothing.

One of the most efficient ways to keep mail dry is to invest in a postal cape. It can be placed over the rest of your uniform, and since it has an opening in the front you will be able to hold the mail under it while you walk. This will keep the mail as dry as possible until you deliver it.

N1023738Have a positive attitude. Decide you don’t care if it rains. Instead, enjoy when it rains. Find humor in the rain. It may surprise you just how much a positive attitude can change how you feel about something unpleasant. You chose this profession knowing you’d have to deliver in the rain, so try and accept it and make the best of the situation.

Check out MyPostalUniforms.com for our selection of postal items that will help you keep dry in the rain.

Comments Off on Beat the Rain




Secured for spam by MLW and Associates, LLP's Super CAPTCHASecured by Super-CAPTCHA © 2009-2010 MLW & Associates, LLP. All rights reserved.