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Working in extreme heat: 'We don’t want anybody to have a heat stroke, fall off a roof'

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 19:21:25-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Temperatures were expected to hit over 100 degrees on Monday and spending time outdoors can be dangerous.

However, staying indoors on these hot days is not always possible for everyone. For companies like Omaha Roofing and Exteriors, hot days like today mean wearing proper clothing, drinking a lot of water and taking breaks frequently.

“We take multiple breaks in the morning, multiple breaks in the afternoon,” Mike Costello, Omaha Roofing and Exteriors owner, said.

The Douglas County Health Department encourages people who are outdoors during these high temperatures, to remember to take breaks.

“It is potentially dangerous to people if they are outside, so don’t try and be the hardy Midwesterner and fight through it,” Phil Rooney, spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department said. “Take some precautions so that we make sure you are here tomorrow.”

But on days like today, Costello says they typically don’t see a need to work.

“When it gets to days where the heat index gets above 100 we usually don’t work those days. There’s really just no reason to,” Costello said. “We don’t want to get anybody hurt, we don’t want anybody to have a heat stroke, fall off a roof, it’s just not worth it.”

With heat like this, hydration is key. However, there are some drinks you will want to avoid. The Douglas County Health Department advised individuals to stay away from caffeine and alcohol and said it is best to stick to water.

While they are on the job sites, Costello said a crew of about 10 people typically goes through at least 60 bottles of water a day.

“We generally have a person down on the ground who is helping keep the job clean at all times and usually what they will do is, they will bring waters up to the gentlemen working up on the roof,” Costello said.

The health department encourages people to stay out of the heat, if you must be outside, it is important to keep an eye out for others especially those who are older.

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