Outdoor Workers Endure Sweltering Heat

Terry Tillman is a landscaper at the President Casino in Biloxi. During the summer, he spends eight-hours a day working in the sweltering heat. Tillman says "It's hot. It's cooler in the morning than it is in the afternoon. After lunchtime it just gets brutal".

The brutal weather can sometimes take a toll on Tillman's body. Tillman says "You get some cramps every once in a while. You have to drink a lot of water, got to keep the water in you. If you get too hot, take a little break, and try to find you a shady spot".

For roofers, there's no shade or any place to escape the sizzling temperatures. Gus Magee says "Well it gets hot sometimes. But once you do it for awhile, you get immune to the heat".

Working on the roof can be unbearably hot, but the tar is even hotter. Magee says "The tar that we mop up and down is anywhere from 475-500 degrees. That's heat, smoke off the tar right there".

Tim Wages is an executive at Mandal's Roofing in Gulfport. He says "I think the tar definitely adds heat to the job, but I think it's an individual thing. Some people can handle it, some people can't. These guys out here, they're tough guys".

And these are tough jobs, but the guys are willing and ready to take the heat. Roofer David Nunnally says "The heat is tremendous, but we have to do it. This is our job, we basically go with the heat". Terry Tillman laughs as he says "That's the job I picked. If I wanted an office job, I should've went to school".

Some companies that do business outdoors change their hours during the summer to protect their employees. They work early in the morning, or later in the evening, when it's a little cooler.

By: Trang Pham-Bui