Outdoor Workers Battling Rising Temperatures During The Hottest Week Yet


By Amanda Wade

With the heat index over 100 degrees, people who work outside face dangers they can not escape.

It is the hottest week so far this year, and many workers say they take extra precautions to stay safe in the scorching sun.

When it comes to yard work, lawn care professionals say summer days feel longer. Brandon Norris, who works for Gene's Lawn Service in Greenville, says they take as many as six breaks in an hour to battle potential heat exhaustion and dehydration, "We used to almost hurt ourselves trying to hurry up and get done, but we know that they're going to be there tomorrow, so we take it easy."

Construction workers say they often work in places with little to no shade; taking water breaks and longer lunches to give themselves a break from direct sunlight. They say watching for signs of heat exhaustion is an important factor, "I just watch the guys carefully, make sure they're responding to questions that I ask them in a timely manner. Make sure they're not off in a daze, like acting confused," says Bill Brown, Vice President of J.C. Brown Construction.

Tom Duncan, a farmer in Greenville, says he tries to stay out of the air conditioner so he stays acclimated to the high temperatures. He also says wearing a wide brimmed hat and breathable clothing helps your body cope with excess sweat, "I try to do as much as I can in the morning when it's cool or late in the afternoon when it's starting to cool off a little bit. And most time the cows in the middle of the day, they're off in the woods anyhow. So you try to feed them and check on them in the mornings and late afternoons when they come up."

Workers say if you stop sweating that is a sign you are in the danger zone for heat related injuries. They say stop work immediately if that happens and drink water and a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.

If you are planning on being outside for long periods of time, workers also suggest draping a towel drenched in cold water over your neck to help beat the heat.

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