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Keeping cool on hot jobs, heat safety tips to practice while on the clock

Jobs go on while East Texas works through the sweltering heat.

TYLER, Texas — As you pass construction or landscaping crews working outdoors, some of you may wonder how they manage to work in such sweltering conditions.

It was another day where frequent breaks in the shade were encourages as air temperatures went into the mid-90s and heat index values, or the 'feels like' temperatures soared in the 100s. 

Kinsey Cummings, owner of Paragon Construction and associates LLC, says he tries to schedule earlier jobs with the safety of his employees in mind. Getting work done during the early morning hours is best, but for those jobs that extend into the peak afternoon hours, Cummings says hydration is key.

"Especially the night before not really try to hydrate the day of working out here. You really want to do it the night before and days leading up to the heat. Of course, we take breaks whenever we can, 15 minute water breaks just so you can kind of cool down. [We] encourage cool towels around the neck, things like that, to just keep the guys somewhat cool."

Cummings went on to say that heat safety is part of his company's weekly toolbox topics and wanted to stress that each individual knows their body best. 

According to OSHA, 50% to 70% of heat-related deaths on the job happen during the first days of extreme temperature change, as our bodies gradually adapt to the hotter temperatures.

Below are the recommended guidelines when it comes to working in the heat and protecting employees, provided by OSHA and the CDC.

Credit: kytx

If you feel dizzy, have chills or goosebumps, and feel fatigued, take a break and let someone know. 

If you see someone showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, call 911 immediately.