With record setting temperatures across the nation lately, many are urging people to stay indoors as much as possible. But for people in the construction industry, the outdoors is their office and staying home isn’t an option, at least not if they want to earn income. Of all the construction workers, few have to put up with the heat as much as roofers.
Working in an oven
There are a number of work conditions that make roof work especially difficult in the summer months. When the sun is glaring overhead, the last place you’ll find shade is on the top of a roof. Roofers are required to work with the sun shining directly on them. Weighed down with safety equipment and lugging loads of shingles to the rooftop only adds to the heat. Finally you have the heat radiating off of the asphalt roof to create an oven-like environment in which the roofers have to work.
The dangers of extreme heat
While you might think the worst thing about high temperatures is premature tiring, excessive sweat, and an insatiable thirst, there are much more serious effects. Even without the added difficulty of labor, simply being in the sun on a very hot day presents many serious dangers. The danger starts with heat exhaustion in which a person begins to sweat very heavily. Breathing becomes rapid and more shallow and the pulse weakens. If not treated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke in which the body temperature is elevated to an unhealthy level. At this point dizziness and fainting is a very real possibility. While this is dangerous for anybody, for a person atop a slanted roof, it is especially hazardous. In extreme cases, heat stroke can even lead to death.
Staying safe in the sun
Fortunately, there a number of things roofers can do to stay safe during the summer. One is working earlier in the day. Plan on starting a project as the sun rises. Quit by early afternoon when temperatures are highest. Also, they can wear the proper attire. Light colored, lightweight, and loose fitting clothes are best. Finally, take plenty of breaks, sit in the shade, and drink lots and lots of cold water. A few simple precautions can make projects go smoother, and most importantly, keep roofers safe throughout the hottest days of summer.
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