Summer heat, humidity can be deadly - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Summer heat, humidity can be deadly

If you work outside for a living, that heat cannot only be uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX) If you work outside for a living, that heat cannot only be uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)
Workers know that since it's July, it's only going to get worse when the dog days of summer hit next month. (Photo source: WLOX) Workers know that since it's July, it's only going to get worse when the dog days of summer hit next month. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

With temperatures soaring into the 90s Monday, working outside is not only uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous.

They are tree trimmers, lawn service workers, auto mechanics, and construction workers. How hot is it? 

“It's really hot. It feels like it's about 200 degrees next to that roof,” said construction foreman Chris Page. 

Under a hot tin roof, fixing cars is tough in this heat for Dan Nord, owner of Pacer Tire.  

“All we can do is use fans and try and keep hydrated. Take a break when we can and cool down so we don't overheat,” Nord explained. 

Arriving on the job site, it's good to know what lies ahead for lawn service project manager Curt Stecher.

“I always check the heat index, so I know it's even hotter than what it says it is,” Stecher.

He also described the plan of action under a blazing sun.

“In the afternoon, when it's real hot, if they start feeling the symptoms, feeling lightheaded or something like that, I tell them to go in the shade, take a break,” Stecher advised. 

Those breaks are important, according to Page.

“You drink lots of water. Probably every hour or so just get down and try and stay hydrated. Get in front of a fan, whatever we have to do,” said Page.

In this summer heat when you work outdoors, there are three things you should have in your tool chest: a hat to protect you from the beating sun, plenty of water, and sunscreen. You should also watch for some telltale signs.

“You can tell when a guy is breathing heavy, panting, so then you want to stop and slow down, get him cooled off, get him in the shade for a little while and let him catch his breath,” said Donne McClain, owner of McClain’s Tree Service. 

Follow this advice, and you'll still be hot but you will stay safe. If you do work outdoors, it would also be good to educate yourself on the signs of heat exhaustion, and the much more serious and potentially deadly heat stroke.

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