Road construction workers face the heat

Published: Aug. 1, 2021 at 5:47 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -Whether it’s zero degrees or one-hundred degrees, roadside construction workers are still outside working in any weather condition.

“There is no condition where we say we are going to shut down or stop doing what we’re doing, we may alter how we do it we may take more breaks or take a smaller bite of what we are doing but there really is nothing that keeps us off the roads very often if the need is there,” said David Studebaker.

So before heading to the job site, there is always a plan in place.

“We have temperatures exceeding the hundreds for sure but even when it gets into the 90 range we have briefings every morning and we have meetings with the guys about making sure they have plenty of liquid, cold water and we actually send out more cold water than is probably necessary so they can soak their hats and put rags around their neck for a cooling effect,” he said.

Staying hydrating isn’t the only precaution workers are taking, they are even taking their clothing choices into consideration.

“Wear loose-fitting clothing and light-colored clothing you know things like that, and we make them wear vests like these which can make things worse but that is a different type of safety rule so it can be uncomfortable,” Studebaker said.

One of the main concerns is asphalt, which causes a stronger exposure to heat.

“When the equipment gets heated up there is a higher chance of equipment failure and they will say the heat index is 105 and it feels like that but for a construction worker standing on the asphalt it feels like 150 because it will run 103-150 degrees on a bright sunny day,” he said.

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