Workers in intense cold at UPS Worldport plan to cover up, layer down

UPS workers on Worldport tarmac will layer up to stay safe

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The non-stop flow of the world’s packages never misses a beat, even when the mercury takes a plunge. And the people who keep the UPS airborne fleet full and flying can’t afford to freeze up.

Single digit temperatures and below zero wind chills are part of the job for employees who work on the tarmac at UPS Worldport in Louisville.

“You wear plenty of layers and bring extra clothes just in case,” UPS employee Jerri Haycraft said.

Haycraft refuels airplanes, a process that leaves her exposed to the elements for at least 45 minutes at a time.

“My face is the worst,” Haycraft said. “It almost feels like you’re getting frostbit. The wind will get you.”

Part of the problem for workers is their environment. The vast expanse of cement can make hot days hotter and cold days colder. There is nothing that will protect them from the wind.

“The wind will cut through your clothing like you don't have anything on,” employee John Rivera said. “Just got to pay attention and look out for each other to make sure we’re doing fine.”

Rivera and others on his team, loading containers onto a UPS jet, said they will be on guard for symptoms of frostbite during the arctic blast.

They plan to take breaks as often as possible by climbing into a nearby van for warmth. But when the Worldport handles 416,000 packages per hour, those breaks probably won’t come often enough.

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