Safety in the Summer Heat

MONROE -- This is the first week of the summer season. Anyone working outside over the next few months is reminded to monitor how their body deals with the heat.

Working in the summer heat can be very dangerous. Scotty Morehead with Lincoln Builders says he's heard of heat-related illness happening right here in north Louisiana.

"It's a bad thing. I mean, it's a serious thing," commented Morehead, Superintendent with Lincoln Builders. "I know one of our subcontractors a year ago or so, they did have a person that actually died from this... by the time they realized what was going on, it was too late."

Morehead meets with his construction workers every week to talk safety.

"In fact, a few weeks ago had a meeting on heat stress," mentioned Morehead. "And [we discussed] things to do to keep yourself protected from being affected by it."

He reports his workers haven't seen any hot weather issues yet.

"It really starts getting bad around here once we start getting above the 95 degree mark," Morehead explained.

It's not quite that hot yet, in Monroe. We've only been as hot as 94 degrees, this year. The humidity can make it feel like it's over 100.

"You don't really realize it's happening to you until it's already too late," said Morehead.

If you're outside working with others, pay attention to these symptoms for heat exhaustion:

"Heavy sweating, weakness, fatigue, probably some confusion," listed Courtney Weston, a Family Nurse Practitioner with St. Francis Medical Center.

Heat stroke is the most severe and can lead to loss of consciousness or a seizure even in the healthiest body.

"That is when you actually can stop sweating," Weston remarked. "Your body temperature goes very high, like to 103 degrees."

To avoid a medical emergency like that, Morehead says to use common sense.

"Take a break. If you're getting too hot, sit down and cool off," said Morehead. "Get some water."

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