IBJNews

Can't stand the heat? Get off the job site

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The combination of rising temperatures and humid air have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a heat advisory for central Indiana through 8 p.m., but some area workers can’t stay out of the elements.

For companies with employees working outside—such as contractors, roofers, landscapers and road crews—that means taking a few extra precautions.

“We take a common-sense approach,” said Bill Hiday, owner of Hiday Custom Builders in Fortville. “You take a couple of extra breaks, get plenty of extra water. When you’re as busy as we are, you can’t take a day off. There are some days when it gets hotter than this that we’ll call off at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. You just start earlier.”

Heat advisories are issued when the heat index—the combination of air temperature and humidity—is expected to top 105 degrees. Forecasts call for highs Monday in the lower to middle 90s, with moist air making it feel more like 105 to 110.

At 110 degrees, an advisory is upgraded to an excessive heat warning, which is posted for six counties in southwestern Indiana near Evansville. The rest of the southern two-thirds of the state is under a heat advisory.

“Drink plenty of fluids and try to stay out of the sun as much as possible,” said John Hendrickson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.

Hiday and his crew of seven were repairing a damaged roof Monday morning, but he said knowledge gleaned from his days playing football in high school and college can come in handy in excessive heat.

“There’s a lot of physical exertion in what we do,” Hiday said. “I know the signs. You’ve got to keep an eye on them. We’ve got to take advantage of the dry days we get, but there’s not a job worth heat stroke. My guys—and a lot of guys—really don’t know quit. You just have to use common sense.”

Noblesville landscaping firm Aspen Outdoor Designs provides a cooler with ice and water for its crew.

“All of our guys are provided with a cooler, and most of them wear long-sleeved shirts—which seems different in the heat, but it is to prevent the sun from hitting them directly,” Aspen office assistant Concetta Mazzocchi said.

Firefighters are used to handling high-heat situations, but Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Burris said the department still takes precautions. One is to provide crews more time to recover from an incident; another is to keep on-task times as short as possible.

“The human body is only equipped to do so much,” Burris said. “Your work time is the same, but the rehabilitation time to recover is longer. We try to make sure they have the appropriate time to cool the body down and get back to work.”

The Indiana Department of Transportation, which has road crews on construction projects throughout the state, uses an safety program called "Water. Rest. Shade." to educate workers. It also has begun using clothes with mesh and wicking fabrics, and adding electrolyte powder to the water in coolers at job sites.

And the state agency has switched much of their fleet to propane-powered vehicles, which spokesperson Will Wingfield said allows workers to get inside a cab and have access to air conditioning without worrying about adding to pollution levels.

“Heat is one of many occupational hazards for us,” Wingfield said. “We have to be more proactive with that, as well as insects and poison ivy in our projects.”

High temperatures are expected during the summer, but NWS’ Hendrickson said his agency usually issues one or two heat advisories each year. He said Indianapolis temperatures are running about 3.5 degrees above normal so far in July.

Hendrickson said the current heat wave comes from the confluence of a “strong” high-pressure system over the central United States that is producing warm temperatures. That combines with high humidity from an abundant amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

He said Tuesday should be “a few degrees cooler,” but the NWS expects a break from the heat by midweek before temperatures warm up again for the weekend.  

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

ADVERTISEMENT