Beat The Heat | Seven Tips To Stay Cool

Summer is a great time for construction work, but a brutal time for construction workers. Excessive heat and sun exposure pose significant dangers, such as sunburn, dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. Every year, construction workers become ill on the job and some even lose their lives due to heat exposure.

To protect its workers from the extreme summer heat, Western Specialty Contractors manages a heat illness training program and a safety hotline for its employees.

As part of the program, training is provided to all employees and supervisors who work in high temperatures. Training topics include: how heat can affect the body, how to identify the signs and symptoms of various heat-related illnesses, and what to do if a co-worker is experiencing symptoms of a heat-related illness. Western also regulates the hotter environment by providing water and shade to workers and by having supervisors and safety managers monitor the heat index so that the proper protective measures can be taken.

“It is important particularly during the summer months that outdoor workers drink plenty of fluids to help prevent dehydration, which is the primary cause of heat cramps and heat exhaustion,” said Alex Jeffries, Safety Director at Western Specialty Contractors.

Alex, who has training and experience managing the health and safety of outdoor workers, offers the following tips for preventing heat-related illnesses on a construction job site:

  1. Drink water frequently and drink enough water that you never become thirsty. Drink water or other non-caffeinated, electrolytic beverages and make sure that your drinks are always cool, not room temperature. Adding a lemon slice to water can make plain water more drinkable.
  2. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural materials such as cotton. Avoid wearing non-breathing synthetic clothing. Wear safety glasses with UV protection, sunscreen and brimmed hard hats.
  3. Gradually build up to heavy work. If possible, do the hardest work during the coolest time of the day. Workers who are suddenly exposed to working in a hot environment face additional hazards to their health and safety. New workers and those returning from time away need to be extra careful in making sure they stay hydrated.
  4. Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity. Move to the shade or a cool area such as an air-conditioned building or car when possible but try not to go in and out of air conditioning too much as it will make it harder for you to adjust to the heat. Use cooling fans whenever possible.
  5. Select your lunch carefully. Junk food is high in fat and preservatives and will put a high caloric load on the digestive system. Try eating a bigger breakfast, so you're not as hungry at lunch. Eat light lunches that include fruits, vegetables and salads.
  6. Keep an eye on your co-workers and be alert for signs of heat exhaustion. Early symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, stumbling, dropping tools, slurred speech or unresponsiveness. Heat stroke is a medical emergency requiring a 911 call and immediate cooling.
  7. Check your urine frequency and color throughout the day. Water intake is adequate when urine is clear or light yellow. When the desire to urinate is less than twice per day and/or you are producing a dark yellow urine, you may be dehydrated.

By training employees on the early signs of heat exhaustion, taking the proper precautions, and employing tips like the ones listed above, outdoor workers can greatly reduce the risk of heat-related dangers.

Join our FREE Online Workshop

Sika and Rooftech/Pavetech Consultants to participate in June 16 online workshop event

It’s no secret that last year’s COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown have taken their toll on American production and businesses, leaving facility owners and managers scrambling to get construction work completed on their buildings.

The current construction material shortage, long lead times, and price increases, among other issues, have been attributed to wildfires that have reduced the lumber supply, the pandemic which further slowed production and an increase in construction material demands due to a rise in home remodeling projects.

So, how can commercial business owners and facility managers who need new roofs and repairs made on their buildings cope with these challenging times?

The façade restoration experts at Western Specialty Contractors, along with Rooftech/Pavetech  Consultants and Sika, are hosting a FREE online workshop 1-2:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, to discuss how building owners and facility managers can navigate the current construction climate and keep their capital and operational projects on track.

“We are facing a supply chain disruption which is affecting multiple facets, including getting construction materials in a timely manner. We will talk about why this is happening and how it affects the commercial real estate world, plus provide tips to building owners and property managers on how they can manage this unconventional issue,” said Tanya Shepherd, Senior Business Development Manager at Western Specialty Contractors. Shepherd will serve as the Panel Discussion Facilitator for the online event.


Workshop Presenters Include:

  • Mike Mastro, Vice-President of Sika
  • Crystal Moyer, Director, National Accounts & Marketing at Western
  • Cale Prokopf, President of Rooftech/Pavetech Consultants
  • Aaron Toney, Region Manager at Western
  • David Grandbois, Assistant Branch Manager at Western’s Minneapolis Branch
  • Keegan Tune, Senior Branch Manager at Western’s St. Louis Roofing Branch
  • Rod O’ Bannon, Branch Manager at Western’s Kansas City Sheet Metal Branch

To register for the online workshop, visit


Two AGCOK Awards | Tulsa, OK

Western Specialty Contractors–Tulsa, Oklahoma Branch has been honored by the Associated General Contractors of Oklahoma (AGCOK) with two “Best of the Best Under $2 Million” top honors for projects completed in 2020.

Representatives from Western’s Tulsa, Oklahoma Branch accepted the AGCOK awards at the organization’s 81st Annual Awards Banquet on April 17, 2021. The AGCOK is the state’s largest and leading commercial/industrial construction trade association, headquartered in Oklahoma City. The awards honor outstanding commercial construction companies, employees, industry partners, and leaders that have helped build the Oklahoma community.

It is a great honor to be completing projects like this in Tulsa since our branch was established in 1945,” said Western Tulsa Branch Manager Doug Martin. “We have been waterproofing and restoring buildings here for over 75 years. Receiving awards like this always prove the integrity, quality, and pride our field personnel has daily. Give them quality! That’s the best kind of advertising. But, of course, that quality also brings in awards, which we very much appreciate.

Doug Martin | Branch Manager, Western Specialty Contractor's Tulsa Branch

Harwelden Mansion – Best of the Best – Historical Restoration Under $2 Million (Masonry, Concrete and Sealants)

Located just minutes from Downtown Tulsa, Harwelden is a historic, Collegiate Gothic-English Tudor-styled mansion built in 1923 by businessman and philanthropist Earl P. Harwell.

Western’s team restored several of its deteriorating concrete balconies bolsters with hand-formed replacements and installed new sealants around the mansion’s windows.

OneOK Building – Best of the Best – Top to Bottom Exterior Restoration Under $2 Million (Sealants) Western’s team performed a complete exterior restoration on the 17-story, high-rise building at 100 West 5th Street. Workers re-installed all the building’s exterior sealants and repaired damaged granite panels. Western’s Tulsa branch had originally installed the building’s sealants when it was constructed in 1984.

About Western Specialty Contractors

Family-owned and operated for more than 100 years, Western Specialty Contractors is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing, and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects, and property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational, and government buildings, parking structures, and sports stadiums. Western is headquartered in St. Louis, MO with 30 branch offices nationwide and employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology.