There was a segment on the news tonight about the heat and how people are coping with it. Part of that news piece was about the construction workers who were out in this ridiculous heat today. Good for them and for all the other workers who have to endure these temperatures.
I’m not sure I know who all the people are who were working in the heat today but here’s my little list.
- kitchen workers in hospitals and hotels who seldom have any air conditioning and even if they do it is almost impossible to regulate on a day like this
- the teenagers and adults who work in tourist towns in the food places along the beaches. They not only have heat to endure but also flying things that try to get into the food.
- construction workers slugging and digging and holding up those signs to keep us from running over one another to get home.
- farmers cutting wheat and bailing straw – some have those lovely air conditioned combines but they still have to be outside a lot of the time
- lawn maintenance crews who are out on public spaces, golf courses and private lawns trying to make them look lovely for us to enjoy when it’s not quite so hot.
- recreation staff and camp staff who are working in camps and playgrounds around the country trying to entertain children
- public transit drivers who have to endure the sun pounding through huge windshields
- green house workers
- steel mill workers
- …and the guy who is now asleep on the couch as well as his faithful helper who were outside under the big maple today painting the side of the house. I tried to change their minds but they would not be moved.
I’m sure I missed some.
When I was a student I worked for the government one summer and if it got over 93F in the office we were dismissed and sent home. I don’t know what the labour laws require now but I do know many of the workers listed above must not be included in the legislation. If they were the world might come to a halt.
I think it might be good if we took as much care of people when it’s too hot to work as we do when it’s too cold. Why can’t we close everything for heat? I know heat doesn’t produce snow banks that are difficult to navigate but making people travel and work in conditions like today is every bit as dangerous.