MEDFORD, Ore. — The heat wave is not stopping construction crews who work outside no matter what the weather. They’re staying cool by planning their day around the heat, and of course staying hydrated.
We caught up with the construction manager who says they do most of their work in the morning before the heat gets bad, “We’ve got concrete coming around 6 a.m. tomorrow morning so we will try to get that down early and then off they go to setting more forms for the next project.”
They will work until around two in the afternoon, when the heat gets unbearable. Until then crews are prepped to withstand the heat.
“We bring water out for our guys, we make them take breaks every two hours,” Craig Funsten says. “Have some shade for them to take some relief from the heat, but it is hot out there and they kind of plan on it.”
Doctors say they have seen a few people with heat illness so far this season, but no one with heat stroke.
“Typically in the summer we will see 15 to 20 individuals and of those only about 10% are sick enough to need hospitalization,” Dr. Cory Bergey from Providence Medical Center explains.
Heat stroke is different than heat illness. Doctors say a person with heat stroke is vomiting and confused. The key is to identify the signs early on.
“Little things can make a big difference, so if you are struggling, starting to feel tired, sweating a lot, starting to feel a little bit weak, get away from the heat,” Dr. Bergey says. “Find somewhere cool, drink some water and rest.”
Construction workers, people 65 and older and children younger than four are most susceptible to heat related illnesses.
Dr. Bergey also says, “Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose, especially if someone comes in already confused and having seizures.”
“If you don’t have that history that they were left outside, it may take a little while until that temperature reader is done before you know what is going on.”
Doctors say if you notice someone suffering from a heat related illness, do not give them medicine. Try to cool them down and call 9-1-1. As for the construction crew, they say there are other circumstances worse than heat.