HOUSTON — The video shared Wednesday by KHOU 11 News has a lot of you talking and it also caught Amazon's attention.
It shows an Amazon contract delivery driver nearly collapsing on a Cypress family’s front porch while dropping off a pile of packages in triple-digit heat.
"It kind of reminded me of me, 'cause on this past Sunday, I kind of had that feeling," another Amazon driver said when he contacted us.
He didn't want to be identified.
"I threw up a lot," he said.
He and other workers who reached out said they love a lot about their jobs but they believe Amazon should adjust what’s known as its EOC, or Engine Off Compliance, that requires engines to be shut off during delivery stops. They feel it's especially important in areas where summer is sizzling.
"Like, if we can leave the engine on to where our A/C can continuously circulate, you won’t have as many people getting hot,” a second driver said.
They said making multiple stops, often in the same neighborhoods, doesn’t give vans time to really cool down.
"And, even with hydration, you know, we’re dealing with unprecedented heatwaves, even for Texas," the second driver said.
While breaks are allowed, drivers said they may impact productivity metrics by which they are measured.
After our story aired, Amazon addressed some concerns in a new statement, saying they're making exceptions for drivers in the Lone Star State because of the dangerous heat.
"Currently in Texas, up to an additional two hours of breaks are being built into delivery routes, as drivers are being encouraged to take additional breaks to cool off and stay hydrated while working," an Amazon spokesperson wrote. "In addition, drivers are encouraged to take their breaks inside their vehicle with the air conditioning running whenever routes have been adjusted because of hot weather."
The company said idling is acceptable in some cases as long as safety measures are observed. (Scroll down for the full Amazon statement.)
Amazon is not the only delivery company that has dealt with heat-related concerns.
After a North Texas letter carrier collapsed and died in the heat, the USPS announced earlier start times. According to a recent report, some 70% of U.S. Postal Service vehicles don’t have A/C.
UPS decided just this month to equip trucks with air conditioning.
"There’s nothing more important than the safety and health of our employees and delivery partners, especially during times of extreme temperatures, and we take a lot of precautions to minimize risk.
"All Amazon-branded vans are air-conditioned, a feature that is above industry standard. If the air conditioning isn’t working on a vehicle, that vehicle is taken out of service immediately.
"Drivers are provided with as much water and electrolyte drinks as they need, along with other cooling supplies like coolers, ice, and cooling towels/bandanas. In addition, they’re encouraged to take breaks whenever needed to cool off and break times are already built into their route each day.
"Currently in Texas, up to an additional two hours of breaks are being built into delivery routes, as drivers are being encouraged to take additional breaks to cool off and stay hydrated while working.
"In the Delivery App, drivers have access to see restaurants, gas stations, and other locations nearby to cool off.
"In addition, drivers are encouraged to take their breaks inside their vehicle with the air conditioning running whenever routes have been adjusted because of hot weather.
"It remains a safety best practice to never leave a vehicle idling without a driver in the driver’s seat, but as part of a number of heat mitigation tactics drivers can use to stay safe on high heat days, we understand the need to run the air conditioning to keep the vehicle cab cool in the hottest areas of the country.
"When drivers decide to do this, we ask that they park safely and use their parking brake."