Outdoor workers hydrate, take extra breaks to beat the heat


Outdoor workers hydrate, take extra breaks to beat the heat 07-01-13

MISSOULA, Mont. - Some Western Montana workers don't have a choice but to do their jobs in the heat and those people are taking extra safety precautions.

"We got a truck in from Walla Walla, Washington so we had about five crates of plants to unload," said Earth and Wood Nursery Assistant Abby Sweet.

"We also had a trailer come up from our store in Stevensville and so we had to unload some large shrubs."

It was a hot day full of hard work for Sweet and her co-workers. They didn't have a choice but to work outside Monday. She's well aware the plants aren't the only ones who need some extra hydration on days like this.

"We're making sure that everybody is staying plenty watered themselves, not just the plants but us too," said Sweet.

She and other workers are making sure to take extra breaks, staying hydrated, and stepping out of the sun and in to the air conditioned office when possible.

"It's amazing how much we take for granted shade and cool weather until it gets really hot like this and then you really realize it."

That's something Missoula roofing crews knows well. They're up on the roof, close to the sun and it's not easy work when temperatures push 100 degrees.

"It's challenging you know. It gets rather exhausting sometimes you know working in the heat all day," said Marcus Martinez from Dave Taylor roofing.

Martinez said his crew takes lots of breaks. And they go through several gallons of water on days like this.

"We just try to stay hydrated as much as possible, take a break about every hour and hit the shade," Martinez said.

They also plan ahead

"Usually when it gets up to the hundreds and stuff like that we'll start around 6:00 a.m. so we can get all our work done before the heat of the day."

It's the extra steps that keep workers safe, when there's just no break from the heat wave. And Missoula health officials say it's important for people who have to work outside, especially for long periods of time, to stay hydrated even when they're off the clock.

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