How local workers are protecting themselves in the extreme heat

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Summer is back in full force taking a big toll on people who work outside. During this summer, many companies are taking extra care to make sure their employees are safe while in the hot sun.

“Just kinda gotta push through it,” said Nick Kooler, a Sioux City construction worker.

Cailee Conlon has been a lifeguard for 12 years now and she knows days with heat advisory warnings require extra caution.

“I’ve actually have had staff in previous years who have passed out on the stand,” said Conlon. “Watching for signs of heat exhaustion, so like nauseous, dizziness feeling icky or tired, excessive thirst.”

They’re not only concerns for her employees, but also people out at the pool. She says everyone needs to prepare ahead of time if they’re going to spend time outdoors during the summer months.

“Start drinking that water, make sure you bring that sunscreen, your hat, and then we’re going to be prepared to get in the water on and off throughout the day,” said Conlon.

“Just drink lots of water,” said Kooler

When getting in the water isn’t an option, other outdoor companies take different precautions to keep their workers safe.

“Start earlier in the day, make sure there is plenty of water available, shade for quick breaks, and for the longer breaks go into a cooler trailer,” said Nick Mathistad, the vice president at Klinger.

Those breaks are extremely important for firefighters who have to deal with even more heat on the job.

“If we have an issue, we gotta bring the bus out, we gotta stay hydrated. They’re already identifying it ahead of time and that’s what makes our department so successful is that instead of being reactive, we are being proactive,” said Terry Ragaller with the Sioux City Fire Rescue team.

It starts even before the day begins. People who work outdoors all day know it’s important to hydrate at night before spending the day out in the heat.

“They drink some water or they drink Gatorade. We hydrate them so we make sure they stay safe,” said Ragaller.

If your outside for long periods of time this summer make sure you are spending time out of the sun, drinking water, and wearing lightweight clothing, these options can help you avoid any server health risks.

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