Surviving Hot Jobs

By Laura Rogers | 

"It's hot," Scotty's contracting foreman Kevin Hines said with a laugh.

"Oh it's warm, pretty warm," said Tyson Canler.

"It's hot every day," Willie B. Mason exclaimed.

Scorching temperatures are nothing new for these asphalt workers.

"About this time of year every year it gets this hot," said Canler.

But that doesn't necessarily make it more bearable.

"The humidity in the air makes it even more worse out here," Mason said.

Scotty's Contracting & Stone Company is paving the new four-lane highway on Veterans Memorial.

Not only are they working on the hottest days of the year so far.

"Blacktop makes it even worse," Canler said.

It sure does; the asphalt is 325 degrees when it comes out of the plant.

Meaning workers literally feel the heat through their feet.

Willie B. Mason is a traffic-control worker.

"It's hard to stay cool," he admitted.

Along with his co-workers, Mason puts in 11 to 14 hour days in the blistering heat.

"Even though it's so hot," he said.

Foreman Kevin Hines makes sure his workers take water breaks often.

"Sometimes they'll let you take a break; they will let you take a break, it ain't sometimes," Canler said.

"They get all the water they want and Gatorade they want," Hines assured.

"All you got to do is let them know, when somebody wants to rest, they'll let you rest," confirmed Mason.

Occasionally a worker gets overwhelmed by the heat.

"I had one get sick last Friday," Hines said.

But all in all, the asphalt workers keep moving to get the job done.

"Yeah, I get used to it," Canler said with a grin.

Cool-Down Tips:

  • Drink fluids with electrolytes, like Gatorade
  • Remember to drink water even if you don't feel thirsty, because thirst is a sign of dehydration
  • Take several breaks, seeking out shade whenever possible
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat

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