He noted, "This safety program is excellent and we are doing everything possible to protect our workers."
Crews are given regular training to prevent and recognize heat illness. Construction schedules are adapted for worker safety so activities start between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. and usually end by 2:00 p.m. Crews are instructed to be aware of and limit disturbance to the community during early hours.
"Safety is a core value for both METRO and HRT," explained Douglas Reehl, HRT project director. "We firmly believe that every accident is preventable. A safe workplace is our goal and we strive constantly to find new strategies to meet it."
The heat index is tracked daily, Reehl says, and precautions are taken, but work halts when the index reaches 105. In addition to earlier work hours, each crew has an extended break time and shaded pop-up tents and tables with water coolers, sports drinks and access to ice. HRT trucks also make daily deliveries of fresh oranges and popsicles to crews to maintain hydration.