How Do You Beat the Heat? When in Vegas, Carry a Squirt Gun

By Tami Faram

Contract glaziers are feeling the heat -- especially these days in areas of the Western and Southwestern United States where temperatures in Arizona and Nevada are heading toward the 120-degree range. The excessive heat is expected to continue, according to national weather forecasts, but many glass workers are taking extra precautions when working outdoors.

"The temperatures were about 116 degrees here yesterday," says Lisa Zygmunt, a controller with Bradley Glass Contractors of Phoenix, Ariz.

"We do go through a lot more water this time of year - we've probably quadrupled our supply. We also supply 20-pound bags of ice for the coolers that the guys take on the job in the morning," she adds.

Zygmunt says their commercial glaziers typically work the hours between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., and many wear long-sleeved shirts to keep their skin protected throughout the workday.

"If the guys need to take a break, we let them - in fact, we promote that this time of year," Zygmunt says.

The glaziers at Giroux Glass Inc. in Las Vegas are also finding ways to beat the excessive heat.

"We work early in the morning, about 5 a.m. and typically try and get out by 1 or 2 p.m. at the latest," says Jonathan Schuyler, chief estimator for Giroux.

"We tell our glaziers to stay up on their electrolytes, and add more bottles of water on the job safety is first and foremost."

Even under the hot Las Vegas sun, the glaziers at Giroux try a bit of humor to get through the day, according to Schuyler.

"When it gets really hot we pick up the squirt gun," he says. "We always keep the squirt gun next to the drill gun when on the job - after all you've got to have fun, and enjoy what you're doing," he adds.

The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) offers advice to employers and employees, who are working outdoors this time of year. "Every outdoor jobsite faces hazards posed by the sun and heat," says Edwin G. Foulke Jr., OSHA's assistant secretary of labor.

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Tami Faram is an assistant editor for USGnn.com™/USGlass magazine.

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