How Do You Survive Working in the Summer Heat? Here’s How the Pros Handle It

Avoiding the summer heat can be relatively easy for people who work in air-conditioned buildings. But others aren’t so lucky. Every day, construction workers, police officers, landscapers, painters, security officers and valets face grueling shifts in the sun. In Dallas-Fort Worth, that means enduring an average summer high of about 94 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. It also means suffering through an average of 18 days when temperatures reach at least 100. What steps do you need to take to protect yourself while working long hours in the sun? Here's what the pros do:Stay in the shadeJames Jefferies prefers to do most of his job in the shade — under the trees at downtown Dallas' Main Street Garden, for example. An officer for the Downtown Safety Patrol, Jefferies spends eight to 11 hours a day on the job.Jefferies doesn’t spend his entire shift outdoors, though. He is encouraged to take frequent breaks from the heat. Downtown’s hotels and office buildings are his go-to spots about five to six times a day. Wiping beads of sweat from his forehead, Jefferies said hydrating and staying in the shade are the keys to surviving so many hours in the heat. "When I first started, I would cramp up a lot from not drinking enough water," he said.During an average shift, he said he typically consumes a gallon of water, in addition to juice and sometimes coffee — preferably iced or in the form of a Frappuccino. Cold fruit smoothies are his favorite. In his second year as a safety patrol officer, and 37th year as a Texan, he said this summer has been relatively mild so far. “But I just know that spike is coming,” Jefferies said.   Continue reading...

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