Beating the heat. Tips from those who have to work in it.
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – The mercury is moving towards the triple digits. There’s no cooling breeze or shade anywhere, and it’s just another day at work for a crew of roofers working at a Sparks commercial location.
“This profession is the hottest,” says Ed Ahmed, owner of Lobo Roofing. “You have to deal with the heat because there’s asphalt on the roof and the heat comes up from below, but if you want to earn your living, you have to.”
Ahmed’s crew and construction workers from the Spaghetti Bowl project on the other side of town have learned how to get through days like this safely and how to prepare and cope, lessons for the rest of us. It’s no secret that it starts with staying hydrated.
“Most of our work in this 100-degree heat is to protect our people and keep them cool. So a constant supply of water and a constant hydration culture are vital here,” said Nate Fluellen, Safety Manager for Ames Construction.
It’s also important that Fluellen says to take breaks, even to change schedules. “So we give them breaks to make sure they cool down throughout the day and if it gets too hot we have to find other resources.”
“In the summer we start early in the morning, six o’clock,” Ahmed says, “and then we stop around one o’clock and then we sometimes take about three or four hours for lunch.”>
Unlike those happy souls who go to the beach, these workers make sure to hide. Most wear long sleeve shirts. That’s less to avoid sunburn than to stay cool.
“It helps a bit,” Ahmed says. “If you’re sweating and there’s a little wind, it feels good.”>
There are other tricks, a wet bandana wrapped around the neck or… “They throw a lot of water on their head or shirt,” Ahmed says.
In summary, “Stay hydrated, stay cool, take breaks,” says Fluellen, “That’s the formula for staying safe outside in this heat.”
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