Excessive heat forcing companies to take precautions


Triple digit temperatures Wednesday throughout Wichita have forced construction companies to take precautions while working outside.

Temperatures reached 100 degrees around the city and with the heat index it was around 110 degrees. That heat bared down on construction workers at I-235 as they worked on the bridge in north Wichita. Manuel Torres, a construction worker on site, said they have people in the field looking out for them when it gets that hot out.

"We got a safety guy that comes out here and he kind of let's us know, 'Hey, if you feel sick go in the shade we don't want nobody in the hospital'," Torres said.

While out there, he said a point of relief for the workers is drinking plenty of liquid.

"We have to have water everyday, with ice, it has to be cold," he said.

Some of the workers wear sleeves to protect their skin from the sun, but Torres said he would rather have short sleeves to stay cool. They take a few rests in the shade per day, according to Torres, and Gatorade is also in order before and after work. However, Torres said actually getting out into the heat to work is all mental.

"You really, don't prepare that much," he said. "Just go, you know."

The construction companies have to be out their to get that job done since they are contracted out to do so. Some companies have had the choice to tweak their schedules due to the heat, and where they have to be during the heat.

"We'll shift to a split date," said Reuben Gonzales, general manager for Dingers Roofing and Construction. "We'll start early in the morning, six o'clock, probably taper off around noon, give it a little bit of time, come back around 5 or six and finish off."

Gonzales said having their roof workers out at the peak time of day puts them in danger, as well as their materials, which can suffer scuffing and scarring. 

"We don't like to risk it," he said.

On a roof, Gonzales said 100 degrees can feel like 125 degrees. Even with working their split shifts in the morning and the evening, monitoring their workers is a continuous process, and if somebody doesn't feel good, Gonzales said they have to take a break.

"If they start feeling dizzy or, muscle cramps, you know a little bit of nausea anything like that, they know to get down, get in the shade, cool off," he said.

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