Machines, People Combat 100-Degree Weather

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A forecast that includes a week of high temperatures over 100 degrees brings challenges for people and machines that must work through the heat. (Published Monday, Jul 30, 2012)

    A week of expected temperatures reaching hotter than 100 degrees brings challenges for people and machines that must work through the heat.

    North Texas Tollway Authority courtesy patrols report a spike in cars with tire problems from the heat.

    A tire shredded Monday on Don Workman's minivan as he drove on the President George Bush Turnpike near Old Denton Road.

    "I had my music going; all of a sudden, I hear this weird bumping, bumping, and I just said, 'Better pull over' because I'm not sure what it was," he said.

    Experts say properly inflated tires are less likely to suffer high-friction problems that can cause tire failure, but Workman said his tires were checked at a repair shop within the past week.

    "The tires aren't that old," he said.

    NTTA employee Evin Williams changed Workman's tire on the busy tollway shoulder.

    "It does get hot," he said. "Even the gravel on the side, when you have to lay on it, it's pretty hot."

    Williams carries extra hot weather supplies on his NTTA courtesy patrol truck for drivers and their cars.

    "Especially in the heat, we always try to keep a cooler full of water for the customers and ourselves and a big jug in case vehicles get overheated, which typically happens at least once a day," he said.

    Plenty of water is the key for people who must work in the heat, especially outdoor construction workers.

    Landscaping and parking lot concrete work went on as usual Monday at the Perot Nature and Science Museum construction project in Downtown Dallas, but Gene Bowles, Balfour Beatty Construction loss prevention manager said workers get plenty of water and extra breaks in the shade.

    "If they start getting cramps, that's a sign that they've depleted themselves and they need to drink more liquid and get rehydrated," he said.

    Bowles said foremen are expected to watch their workers carefully, especially those who may be new to outdoor work.

    "It's some of our responsibility as the general contractor to make sure that if guys have been working inside and they come outside, that they're prepared," he said.

    Workman said it takes up to a week for a new outdoor worker to adapt to the conditions according to US Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards.

    OSHA offers the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, a free iPhone and iPad app that can help workers and anyone in the general public monitor the heat danger on any given day.

    The Trinity Railway Express trains will operate at reduced speeds during this extended heat streak. Expect delays of 10 to 20 minutes during the afternoon.

    More: OSHA Heat Safety Tool