Work begins early on Buck O'Neil Bridge due to extreme heat - KCTV5 News

Work begins early on Buck O'Neil Bridge due to extreme heat

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Thursday’s start time has been updated to 5:30 a.m. due to excessive heat warnings. (KCTV) Thursday’s start time has been updated to 5:30 a.m. due to excessive heat warnings. (KCTV)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Brutal heat is expected in the Kansas City area, yet again, for Thursday as heat index temperatures climb over 100 degrees.

On days with extreme heat, doctors ask that people stay indoors, if possible.

But for construction workers and those with jobs requiring them to be outside, that is not always an option.

For construction crews working on the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Memorial Bridge on Thursday morning, one way to beat the heat is starting the day earlier.

Thursday’s start time was scheduled for 8 a.m. but has been updated to 5:30 a.m. due to excessive heat warnings. They will work until 2:30 p.m.

Temperatures Thursday are expected to start in the upper 70s. A Heat Advisory has been issued, yet again, as highs climb into the upper 90s for the fourth day in a row.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, every year dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions. In fact, they say more than 40-percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry.

When the air temperature outside is measured at 77 degrees, asphalt in the sun has been measured at 125 degrees. Jump up to 86 degrees, and asphalt can sizzle a person's skin.

OSHA encourages workers to drink water every 15 minutes, rest in the shade and to wear light-colored clothing. 

Doctors say hydration is the key for all who will be outside during the extreme heat and say it is important to take precautions to avoid a heat-related illness, for the young or elderly.

Sports drinks that are high in electrolytes, water and plenty of breaks are advised.

For those who begin to feel faint, or have unexpected muscle soreness, shortness of breath or chest pain, doctors ask that they quickly get to an air-conditioned area and drink more fluids.

Health officials say two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour will keep those working outside hydrated in extreme heat.

High temperatures in the metro are not expected to drop below 90 degrees until Monday.

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