|Elaine Martin and her crew keep cool in the Las Vegas heat the best way they know how.
Q&A: Even in the scorching 100-degree summer of Las Vegas, remodeling work doesn’t stop. Elaine Martin, managing partner of Michael T. Martin General Contractors, offers advice to remodelers who must manage employees working in summer heat.
Q: Do you make any major changes to your job schedule during the summer?
A: We start earlier and end earlier. In the summer, we try to start work at 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., so that the guys are off at around 2:30 p.m. Here, the heat of the day peaks from about 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Q: Any other major changes for the summer heat?
A: We change our work shirts from the normal royal blue to plain white t-shirts. We also provide water on all of our outside job sites. And, if we can, we’ll switch crews during the day, so that we’ll get the outside work done early in the morning and switch to an inside job in the afternoon.
Q: What are the major summer heat health concerns?
A:The major risks to avoid are heat stroke, sunburn and heat exhaustion.
Q: Have you ever had an employee who had a heat-related problem, or have you cancelled work in the summer because of the heat?
A: No. We’ve just received our fourth year in a row with a zero-incidents rate - it’s an outstanding safety award. We’ve had to stop working because of rain or wind, but we’ve never had such a hot season that we’ve had to end work.
Q: Do you have a set schedule for summer policies?
A: No, we usually play it by the weather. We watch the weather patterns and we watch The Weather Channel a lot.