Workers face dangerous heat this summer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Workers face dangerous heat this summer

June has been dangerously hot for people who work outside in South Georgia. June has been dangerously hot for people who work outside in South Georgia.
Ricky Page, Drawdy Roofing Supervisor Ricky Page, Drawdy Roofing Supervisor
Roofer James Carter takes a moment to stay hydrated. Roofer James Carter takes a moment to stay hydrated.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It was one of the hottest days in the last couple of years in South Georgia on Friday, and dangerously hot for people who work outside.

But the federal government just launched a new initiative to make sure outdoor workers and their supervisors understand those dangers and take steps to stay safe.

James Carter has been a roofer in south Georgia for 40 years. He works at Drawdy Roofing in Albany.

"Roofing is just hard from the get-go," notes Carter.

And this week? "This week is pretty rough," he said. "When I was in my 20s and 30s, I could deal with it a whole lot better than I can now."

Working in the summer heat hasn't gotten any easier for him.

Carter made sure to get plenty of water while working Friday. He knows staying hydrated is one key to staying healthy in the South Georgia summer sun.

"Well, we keep a lot of water and Gatorade, lemonade, all that type of stuff," said Carter.

On an average day, Drawdy Roofing has 20 to 25 men working on several sites around Albany.

Ricky Page supervises all of them, and he knows the dangers they face.

"When you get up on one of these roofs, you can easily reach 110 or 120 degrees with the heat bouncing off those shingles."

That's why he makes sure there is plenty to drink on the work sites and that workers take frequent breaks.

"If you're feeling bad, let's get you down on the ground. Make sure you're all right. Luckily, I can say over the years, we've never had anybody fall out due to the heat and everything," said Page.

As the veteran on his crew, Carter also watches over the other workers.

"I let them mostly work at their own pace," he said.

As part of that new government initiative by the Labor Department and the National Weather Service, they're encouraging meteorologists to stress the dangers outdoor workers face on days like this.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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