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. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT