Construction Crews Try to Beat the Heat and Get the Job Done

Lynchburg, VA - Temperatures Wednesday rose into the 90's throughout our area. The heat wave has people cranking up the AC in the car, office, and at home to stay cool, but for some, their job means having to work out in the sweltering heat.ABC 13 spoke to local construction crews to get some insight into how they make it through these blistering days. Crews with Lynchburg's Public Works' street division didn't let the heat beat them. Each worker is educated on the dangers of heat like this, so that they're able to get the job done and deal with the sun.For many crews, sweating during the job is a pretty normal thing. Even tough guys can get beat down by the sizzling summer sun, however. That's why Lynchburg Public Works educates their employees about the dangers of heat well before the thermometer starts to rise."Early in the spring we start doing training through what we call our weekly safety tailgate. And our topics are related to heat stress prevention, identification and treatment of," said Steve Grandstaff, Safety Coordinator for Lynchburg Public Works.Workers are taught to look for warning signs when doing hard labor on hot days, as well as ways to play offense against offensive heat. It all starts with what they eat."Smaller portions. Eat cold instead of hot meals," said Grandstaff.Grandstaff says hydration is most important though. He tells his crews to start drinking water well before they start work for the day, which in the summer is a little earlier than usual. They start at 6:30 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m.No matter how the job is changed for the season, Grandstaff says education is really what keeps their employees safe."How to avoid it. How to work in the weather. Personal protective equipment to wear, protecting yourself against the sun with sun block and so on and so forth," said Grandstaff.Grandstaff also says their crews are given breaks from the sun whenever they need them, and are provided with plenty of ice and cool drinks to keep them hydrated throughout the day.