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Staying safe while working in extreme heat

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) -As the heat index soared into the triple digits Friday, some escaped to the air conditioning, but others had no choice but to be outside for their work.

Darren Germann is a lineman with the City of New Bern and says, “You’d like to say you get used to it but you really don’t it is definitely warm.”

Germann says the key to working in these extreme conditions is not overdoing it. He says, “Eastern North Carolina is really humid and when it gets like this it’s pretty hot. We try to take it easy and get as much work as we can possibly do and still be safe at the same time and just look after each other.”

Paying attention to how you and your coworkers are feeling is one of the most important things you can do during this summer heat according to emergency room doctors.

Dr. Cynthia Downs says, “I would say at least every two hours you need to be drinking something if you’re out in the heat but you should probably be drinking much more frequently than that.”

Aside from staying on top of your water intake, you should also be on the lookout for a few other symptoms that may tell you when it’s time to take a break.

Dr. Downs says, “Definitely if you notice that your lightheaded, or dizzy, or that you’re not sweating you probably should have already been inside cooling off at that point. I think it’s more just planning ahead.”

And while they try to stay safe, crews say there really is no getting used to the weather when it’s this hot.

Germann says, “It’s not getting used to it but more like getting used to putting up with it.”

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