SWLA landscapers share how they stay safe in the heat

Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 7:24 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Spend just a few seconds outside and you’ll certainly feel that hot Southwest Louisiana summer. Imagine those who are working in it.

Extreme heat can be dangerous, but the owner of a local landscaping business told us how he’s ensuring safe working conditions for his team.

Workers were out at the crack of dawn today, starting their shifts at 6 a.m.

“Sometimes the job just demands us to get it done, and we got to work long hours,” Deepwoods Lawn and Landscaping Owner Walter Melton said.

With those long, hot hours comes pacing yourself.

“One of the things we do every morning is we kind of do a check of how are you feeling, are you worn out from yesterday? Do you find yourself drinking enough water? Some of the things I tell them to check – is your mouth starting to feel dry? Do you feel like your light-headed? Are you seeing stars? Are you getting an upset stomach? There are signs to look for before it gets to the point where it’s too late,” Melton said.

Melton says in addition to staying hydrated, eating well is crucial. “

“Sometimes we’ll bring in some fruits and vegetables in the morning and maybe some light sandwiches after lunch to make sure they get the protein they need,” he said

Taking a 15-minute break every hour and a half is helpful, along with two hourlong breaks throughout the day.

“In those breaks, you need to go sit in the shade. I advise them to not sit in the air conditioning ‘cause then your body kind of freaks out when it goes in the cold and comes back in the heat. So for anybody who is not accustomed to heat, take it slow,” Melton said.