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Construction crews in Tulsa take safety measures amid extreme heat

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 07:55:47-04

TULSA, Okla. — With heat index values reaching triple digits and the temperature expected to do the same Friday 2 News Oklahoma checked in to see what measures construction crews are taking to stay safe.

“Safety is our number one worry on the job,” Nathan Bullard, project superintendent with Sherwood Construction said.

Bullard said they have eleven crews and multiple subcontractors working along I-44 and the 75 interchange. Among them bridge, pacing, drainage, grading, sanitary, and asphalt crews. All of them doing their job while trying their best to beat the heat, but Bullard said it's not always easy.

“As you get hotter, it makes it tougher on you,” Bullard said.

That's why Bullard said his crews go through OSHA's heat recognition training, which teaches them to notice heat stress symptoms like excessive sweating, disorientation, or slowing down, and those of a heat stroke.

“Heat stroke, they’ll start recognizing signs more of dizziness, they stop sweating, not quite as aware,” Bullard said.

Bullard said they've also adjusted their start times to minimize heat exposure.

“It really depends on the activity, 5:30 and 6:00 and we’re working about 6:00 and then some of the other crews are rolling in around 6:30 and then we work about 10 hours depending on the activity, it could be a little bit longer, it could be a little bit shorter,” Bullard said.

They also supply their crews plenty of water, take numerous breaks, and use a buddy system to keep an eye on each other. He said they also ask drivers to be extra mindful of construction crews.

“They are out in the heat, things are a little bit tougher, when it’s warm like this. Keep in mind to mind your speed and stay aware because on projects like this you’re right in the middle of traffic 99 percent of the time,” Bullard said.

If your job requires you to be outdoors, EMSA said having a plan is key in staying safe.

They recommend staying hydrated, wearing light colored and lose fitting clothes, and keeping a cellphone on you at all times.

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