Highway crews across the Heartland try and beat the heat - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Highway crews across the Heartland try and beat the heat

Highway 51 is under construction Highway 51 is under construction
CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) -

With heat advisories across the Heartland, highway crews are making sure they beat the heat by working earlier hours.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released a statement that road crews have alternated working shifts.

Instead of working the usual 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift, crews will now be working from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., allowing crews to complete most of their highway maintenance work earlier in the day when temperatures are usually lower than the afternoon hours.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet stated motorists should be aware that while crews are on the early work schedule they may be more likely to encounter work zone lane restrictions and flaggers during the morning commute. 

Officials with both IDOT and MODOT also said that they are being conscientious of the heat advisories; making sure workers are drinking plenty of ice water, taking breaks and also doing alternative work so they will not be directly under the sun for long periods of time.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is urging employers to protect workers from heat illness with water, rest and shade.

According to OSHA, in 2014, 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job.

OSHA stated to prevent heat related illness and fatalities:

-  Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.

-  Rest in the shade to cool down.

-  Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.

-  Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.

-  Keep an eye on fellow workers.

- "Easy does it" on your first days of work in the heat. You need to get used to it.

For more information on heat illness and ways to prevent it, click here.

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