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Outdoor workers protecting themselves from the heat, avoiding dehydration

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 21:31:27-04

As temperatures continue to soar in Southern Arizona, many are finding ways to avoid outdoor activities. However, there are some people who have no choice and have to work in the heat every day.

In fact, who knows more about heat woes than construction workers? For Jesse Cadenas, who has been a construction worker in the Tucson area for two years, working in the heat brings one of his scariest memories. Two summers ago, while working on the rooftop of a construction site in Downtown, he had symptoms of dehydration. "I was feeling a little weak, and I went to drink more water, and next thing you know I was throwing up all over the place and felt very weak, I had to call it a day," he said. Two years later, he is working on the ground and experiencing his second summer on the construction site. He says he has learned a thing or two, "especially how to stay covered and hydrated, you can't be too careful with that," Cadenas said. 

He wears two shirts, the first layer soaks up his sweat and actually helps to cool off his body. He also drink lots of liquids. "Then mix my water with Pedialyte because water alone doesn't really do it because you sweat it out a lot," he added. 

He says his crew also takes several breaks throughout the day and starts working early in the morning to try to beat the sun. However, experts say even the most experienced people can forget about how powerful the sun can be and simply push themselves too hard. "Heat doesn't discriminate, it will impact those who are brand new to the area and even those who are super seasoned," Tucson Fire department spokesperson Jessica Nolte said. The most important reminder this time of year is to stay hydrated, she added.