Louisville Water crews practice safety first during heatwave

Louisville Water crews practice safety first during heatwave

July 19, 2019

Louisville Water Company maintenance crews endured tough temperatures Friday as the heat index tipped into triple digits.

Plumber Leader Mike Harshfield and his crew are used to working outside but the 98-degree temperature and extreme heat advisory put them on alert to take extra safety precautions.

Harshfield’s crew installed new meter batteries for water mains at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering on the campus of University of Louisville.

“It’s just like Legos. We piece the vault (for the battery) together using Styrofoam walls and then pour the concrete,” Harshfield said.

Although the construction site was in the shade, the heat and humidity made the air feel thick and heavy. Harshfield said his crew members knew how to handle the heat index of 105 degrees.

“They know if they get overheated to take a break. We’ve got a four-man crew. The other three can pick up and take over if one person needs a break. We make sure we drink plenty of water and stay directly out of the sun,” he said.

The loose, light-colored clothing worn by the crew helped keep them cool. Their safety glasses and hardhats helped to block the sizzle from the sun.

Weather officials said the heatwave was expected to last through the weekend. If you plan to spend time outdoors for work or play, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, stay in the shade, and wear protective hats and sunglasses.