Outdoor Workers Take Extra Precautions During Heat Wave

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Heat illness can be deadly especially for those out working during this heat wave.

That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is warning workers to stay safe while working outside.

OSHA says just keeping in mind three simple tips can save your life: water, rest, and shade.

Calvin Michael works for VDOT, a job that keeps him outside all the time. He says he doesn't mind working in a heat wave, but he knows how dangerous it can be.

"We have had instances where we've had people we've had to get them a shady tree and get them some water pretty quick, but for the most part we've been pretty lucky," said Michael.

He says he and his coworkers take breaks in their cars with the AC on during hot days.

Whether you're working or working out like Doug Frederick, this heat can take a toll on you.

Frederick says he bikes every day for exercise.

"If I spend all day outside, it can be a concern," said Frederick. "Generally as we bike we get a lot of air flow over us so it helps us stay cooler. But if I was on a road crew or something I'd definitely be concerned, it'd be tough to be in this kind of heat."

It's tough for cyclists and for workers like Michael, but the heat's not stopping them from their daily routines.

"Just keep moving, keep going. If we need to stop we do, if not we do our jobs," said Michael.

If you work in this heat, OSHA says you should drink water every 15 minutes, even if you're not thirsty. Plus you should take breaks in the shade and keep an eye on fellow coworkers.

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