Marianna- Health officials have warned people about the extremely hot weather in an effort to ward off heat-related illnesses. But, that's not always easy for people who work outdoors.Some professions, such as landscaping and construction, make it hard for workers to avoid the sweltering sun. This year, Jackson county officials are taking extra precautions to protect employees.
When the weather gets hot, some people will jokingly say they're having a heat stroke. But Nurse Practitioner, Stan Whittaker said, the issue is not a laughing matter.
"It can be very serious. You're looking at increased heart rate, decreasing perfusion to these vital organs."
But some people don't have a choice about being outdoors. Mike Dalton spends most of his day in the air-conditioned cab of a road grader. But he told us he still struggles to stay cool. "If you're out here everyday you get kind of used to it and it's not as bad. But, when you get in and out, it can really take a toll on you" he said.
After this year's mild winter and particularly warm spring, many people anticipated a scorching summer. But apart from a few safety precautions, there's little to protect those with outdoor jobs from dangerously high temperatures. Jackson County officials said they don't have temperature guidelines that would keep outdoor employees from working. "We've been in [weather] as hot as it gets and as cold as it gets" Dalton said.
"If we get a heat advisory, it's going to be extremely hot and the humidity's going to be extremely high, we try and make them aware of that" said Jackson County Road & Bridge Superintendent, Al Green.
But the county is taking extra precautions this year. They told us that in addition to providing plenty of water, they bought freezable bandannas for workers and a brand new misting fan for the warehouse. "You have to be very concerned. With this many people, and working in the elements we work in, yes, you have to be very cautious" Green told us. He said he hoped the extra precautions would help keep his crews safe in the summer heat.