So you think your job is rough during a string of hot days?
Think outside the air-conditioned cubicle. Here we take a look at – and give a nod to – some occupations that get especially exhausting as the temperatures soar.
Can you imagine having to work outdoors in this heat? Well, how about working outdoors while wearing a costume? Now imagine walking around the city with a group of tourists. These are the conditions that several Boston-area tour guides have to deal with at their jobs.
Pictured: Colonial re-enactor Kate Kingsley braved the extreme heat druing a performace at Kings Chapel in Boston. Next
This type of construction worker deals with heat from both directions. The sun beats on their back, while asphalt shingles present their own burn risk. Certain roofing materials can reduce the heat endured, but won’t eliminate exposure to sunshine. Next
Sports team or company mascot
Dressing light is one way Bostonians can beat the heat. This is not an option, however, for those who are paid to dress up as a mascot for a sports team or company. Walking around in a head-to-toe costume can lead to heat exhaustion if the mascot-wearer doesn’t drink a lot of water, keep cool packs in the suit, and take a few breaks. Here, Wally the Green Monster greets Red Sox fans. Next
Most of the nation’s roads are paved in asphalt. So when a pothole or other problem appears, these people are responsible for the fix.
Pictured: Feeney Brothers Excavation Corp. workers laid asphalt in 2010 on Centre Street in Boston after a gas main was repaired. The material came out of their truck at about 300 degrees. Next
In addition to high temperatures, firefighters contend with heavy gear and flames. Soaring temperatures don’t only increase the likelihood of fire. They can also make it more difficult to knock a blaze down, and can help contribute to heat exhaustion for firefighters. Next
Outdoor food vendor
Hot oil, heavy loads, and constant movement make outdoor food vendor jobs some of the most strenuous during the summer. Limited protection from the sun can further wear these workers out. Next
The pushing and pulling associated with keeping a kempt lawn can become exceedingly unpleasant during the summer. Planting heavier flora — and trimming that which is already there — is likely to produce a sweat, particularly without a shield from the sun. Next
Collecting trash on a regular day may be a malodorous experience – never mind during a heat wave, when warmth accelerates the rotting process. It can also make the wafts of waste increasingly intolerable. Next
Satellite dish installer
Like the roofer, a satellite dish installer is directly exposed to the hot rays from the sun. Depending on the location of the dish, this process can take hours to complete — and a toll on the worker. Next
Aircraft baggage loader
These workers may get used to transferring heavy luggage to and from passenger airplanes. This labor can become more difficult during the summer, however, when the beating sun warms up the airport tarmac. Next
Brick oven pizza maker
How does the old saying go? Oh, yes, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. There are few places where these words ring truer than in a pizzeria with a brick oven which can get hotter than 800 degrees.
Great artists frequently pour blood, sweat, and tears into their work. In the case of glass-blowers, more of the latter. In order to create museum-worthy glass scultpures, glass must be melted about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pictured: In this 2012 photo, master glass-blower and MIT Glass Lab Director Peter Houk demonstrated tools and techniques similar to those used to create works now on view at the ICA.
The summer is a perfect time to drop off your winter wardrobe for dry cleaning, which is both good news and bad news for your dry cleaner. The good news is the business your wardrobe will bring in. The bad news is this means dry cleaning workers will have to labor over machines that emit steam and create sauna-like conditions all day long. Next
Did you work up a sweat as you made your way from your car? Well, imagine walking from your car to the car you parked next to, and then to the next one, and the next one, and the next one, and so on, as the average parking meter attendant is forced to do. And to top it off, it’s one of the more thankless jobs on this list. Next
Even during heat waves like this one, police officers frequently work outdoors by directing traffic at busy intersections and around construction sites. Next
Toll booth collector
Workers in the various toll booths across Massachusetts are confined to tiny spaces and must also contend with the heat from the vehicles that pass them by all day long. Back to the beginning
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