Safety Worth Celebrating
We expect a lot from UPS drivers. They must meet customer expectations for timely pickups and deliveries, often under demanding circumstances, and successfully represent their fellow employees during every customer contact, no matter how brief or complex. And, of course, they must be among the safest drivers on the road, no matter where their routes take them.
For all these reasons, we celebrate safety that goes above and beyond even our high expectations. Drivers who earn the right enter the UPS “Circle of Honor.” It is truly an honor because so many people at all levels of the company have been drivers and know what it takes. To achieve entry, UPS employees must drive for the company for 25 years without an avoidable accident. In 2012, 1,283 drivers reached that milestone, including drivers from Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Our dedicated force of veteran female drivers sent 36 women to the Circle of Honor in 2012.
Meanwhile, many other members of the Circle of Honor are maintaining their perfect records long after 25 years. Collectively, the 6,486 drivers in the Circle of Honor have logged more than 5 billion miles. That’s enough miles to circle the earth 200,000 times. In 2012, Thomas Camp reached 50 years of accident-free driving with UPS. He joined Ron Sowder, who reached the elite 50-year level in 2011.
Circle of Honor member, Thomas Camp.
If it Walks Like a Penguin, it Must be a UPS Driver
Icy streets and sidewalks are especially dangerous for delivery drivers on a tight schedule. That’s why UPS facilities in colder climates add special training and safety demonstrations when winter approaches. Two of the most distinctive trainers in 2012 were known only by their first names: Pepe and Buddy. Pepe lives in Chicago, Illinois at the Brookfield Zoo and visited our Addison, Illinois facility at the invitation of its employee safety committee. Buddy hails from the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio and visited a UPS facility nearby. Both Pepe and Buddy came to demonstrate a safety specialty innate to their species: walking like a penguin.
Penguins rarely slip and fall on ice and snow, because of their well-adapted shuffling gait. Pepe’s visit to UPS made the newspapers, and soon employee safety committees at other facilities began teaching the penguin walk to their fellow employees. So if you see a cold-climate UPS driver walking flat-footed, with her feet pointed outward and her knees bent, it’s not arthritis. It’s a safety technique from Spheniscus humboldti.
Buddy of the Cincinnati Zoo.