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Work crews stay cool while working outdoors in scorching hot temperatures

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - While most people want to stay indoors during this heat, some can’t because their job requires them to work outdoors.

Workers with Strength Roofing and Siding spend hours working on rooftops.

Lately, it’s involved them working in the scorching heat, with the sun beaming down on them, creating an uncomfortable work environment.

“You’ve got a 100-degree temperature out here; it’s 130-140 on that roof,” said Matt Gray, sales consultant with the company. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely not ideal for me.”

Gray has been with the roofing company for four years now.

He said crews are getting an early start to the workday to beat the heat.

“Usually, we get here between 6 (A.M.) and 6:30,” said Gray.

Starting while it’s cool is critical.

However, Gray said what’s even more important is making sure workers are pacing themselves and staying hydrated.

“Our guys take breaks every hour, just to cool down,” Gray explained. “If it’s five minutes, if it’s 10 minutes, we want to make sure that we get the body cooled down, and nourishment in the body, making sure we get those electrolytes put in.”

“These temperatures can be extremely dangerous in the middle of the day,” said Dr. David Green, family medicine physician with Baptist Medical Group.

Green said these are the conditions when doctors typically see more patients with a heat-related illness.

“It can be anywhere from cramps that you get; you can then move on to a heat exhaustion type thing where you start getting some headaches, dizziness, maybe a little nausea, upset stomach, that kind of stuff, and it can even progress to a heat stroke,” Green described.

So far, Green said he hasn’t had anyone come into his office due to a heat-related illness.

He also points out this is the time to keep a close eye on the elderly or anyone living alone.

“Air conditioners can go out; things can get pretty hot pretty quickly,” said Green. “If you have somebody that gets to that point where they’re confused or passed out, that can be a really big deal.”

The city of Jackson opened cooling stations today at the Tougaloo and Smith Robertson Community centers.

Both will also be open Friday from 8 A.M. until 4 P.M.

Currently, they are more than a dozen counties in the state under a heat advisory.

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