West Hartford

Outside Workers Battling Scorching Temperatures This Week

Finding ways to beat the heat while still getting their jobs done is creating challenges for those working in sweltering conditions.

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As hot as it was Tuesday, and will continue to be this week, there were many dedicated workers outside attending to business. For them, dealing with the heat made things a little more challenging, but scorching temperatures didn't stop them from getting the job done.

Installing storm drains on a soon-to-be paved road in West Hartford, VMS Construction was sweating it out.

“When I wake up and I come out of the house and I feel the humidity, then I know it’s going to be bad,” said VMS Job Foreman Bob Hadden.

Hadden was overseeing the West Hartford project where crew member Diego Martinez was installing pipes 15 feet below street level. Martinez said his job offered some relief from the high temperatures.

“Inside the hole, it’s beautiful,” Martinez said, describing the underground work area as the air-conditioned like part of the project.

In Bristol, Andrew Clark was mowing lawns. Monday's rain meant he missed a day and had twice as much work to do today in the heat.

“I kind of want to get the job done as fast as possible and get back in the AC back in the truck,” Clark said. He said he started mowing extra early Tuesday to avoid the mid-afternoon heat.

How about working behind a sizzling hot grill on a scorching day? Over the cooktop of Plainville’s “Little Red Grille,” it was 114 degrees.

“You go through a couple of shirts, but it’s really not so bad once you get used to it,” said owner and cook Jeff Perzan.

Not every business, though, decided to operate at full capacity Tuesday.

“The human body can only take so much,” said John Argueta, owner of Yargueta Construction.

Argueta explains they are only doing indoor projects this week. He said roofing and siding have been paused because materials can be compromised by the heat.

The heat, though, did halt some projects. Yarguetta Construction is not doing any vinyl siding this week.

“If you expose a piece of siding out there, the sun is going to twist it,” Argueta said.

His roofing projects are also on hold.

“When you start installing the shingles, they get super-hot to start with, and your hands will get burned,” he added.

For all of those out in the heat today, the key, they say, is hydration.

“I bring six bottles of water and I’ve got a thermos. I try to make sure I go home with all of it empty,” Hadden said.

Most people we spoke with Tuesday say these conditions are not uncommon in their industries. Still, they say they are mindful of the dangers, and stress taking breaks and getting out of the heat as much as possible.

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