KENNEWICK, Wash- It was another day of triple digit temperatures around the region. While we'd all love to stay cool inside by the air conditioner, some people are required to be outdoors as part of their job. They need to find ways to cool off or take breaks in the shade while staying productive and safe.
"You want to sit down and if you start sitting down, you pretty much lose your momentum," said Tyler Floren, a local carpenter. As he and his crew began to construct the frame of a house, the temperature had already climbed to the upper 90's.
"If we get working too late it gets over 100 and so it just really takes it out of you," said Floren.
As they forced themselves to keep up their productive pace they were fighting an all out battle against dehydration.
"If you can avoid being outside, that's the very best," said Dr. Amy Person from the Benton Franklin Health District. But for people who can't avoid working outdoors she explained, " It's vitally, vitally important to drink lots of water. You need to stay hydrated. They recommend 2-4 cups of water every hour while you're working."
"When I was actively framing houses I drank anywhere from 2-3 gallons of water during the day," said Chris Avery, a Project Manager for Reality Homes. His job is to keep his workers productive while making sure they work safely and effectively in the heat. He says his roofers have to shift their hours to avoid damaging the homes.
"The roofing will actually melt under their feet and leave marks all over it so they have to start early or work late."
One trick the construction workers say they try is to completely soak their t-shirts in water before they put them on. Then, they just hope that they get a breeze to cool them off from the intense summer heat.
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