‘It’s hot’: Outdoor workers see an increase in heat-related hazards in Central Florida

·1 min read

Florida in June -- you can always expect one thing.

“It’s hot,” said Orange County fire Lt. Jacqueson Elie.

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This week has been the hottest one yet this year. Temperatures hit 97 degrees Tuesday, with the heat index soaring beyond 100.

But hot or not, workers “still have to do the job,” Elie said.

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Orange County firefighters have been busy with more emergency calls from tourists and visitors suffering from heat exhaustion after a day in the sun.

“Since the first of May, countywide, we’ve seen an increase in those calls,” Elie said. “We’ve had approximately six calls related to heat exhaustion.”

Read: Extreme heat: Temperatures soar in Central Florida

Heat-related hazards are ranked as the deadliest weather hazards in the country, and firefighters take precautions as the heat index climbs.

“Typically around 98 degrees, we’ll stop any kind of training,” Elie said.

READ: How gas prices are impacting summer travel

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Orlando Director Sarah Carle said construction and landscaping are the professions most susceptible to suffering heat illnesses.

“Over time, the period of time which it occurs, you can feel the effect and not realize what’s going on in your body before it’s too late,” Carle said.

READ: Is your car ready for the summer heat? See tips on how to avoid heat-related car troubles

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