: News

Construction Workers Cope With Code Red Air Quality

Play associated audio

By Jessica Jordan

A code red air quality alert means you're urged to restrict outdoor activities, but for thousands of people who make a living working in the elements, it's business as usual on these days.

At one construction site on I-66 in Virginia, workers man heavy equipment in the sweltering heat despite warnings to keep out of the elements due to the code red air quality alert.

"We are used to it. We work in the hot and cold. Some days are hot and cold for us but it's OK for us," construction worker Yudi Vonquadi says.

Vonquadi was one of more than 200 people working at road project sites in Virginia during Tuesday's code red alert, according to the state's Department of Transportation. Jeff Wagner, communications manager for Fluor Lane Construction Company, which works with VDOT, says the bad air quality doesn't affect these workers as much.

"Construction workers, especially those working outside, have an advantage on days like today because typically they've been working in these kind of conditions throughout the summer. While it's a little worse today, their bodies have really been acclimated to this environment," Wagner says.

VDOT spokesman Steve Titunik says project foremen keep a closer eye on their crew during code red days.

"To ensure that personnel going out there to work are briefed on the unique conditions during the shift, supervisory personnel are also moving through the areas checking on their people," Titunik says.

Titunik says VDOT also encourages workers to take frequent breaks throughout the day.


Breaking The Cranberry Mold: New Ways To Savor This Seasonal Berry

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving tradition. But if you're ready for a fresh take on this staple, why not try cranberries in chutney or cake? America's Test Kitchen founder Chris Kimball offers ideas.
WAMU 88.5

Recipes Get A Makeover With GIFs, Science, And Emojis

On Food Wednesday, we explore the new ways recipes are being presented, with everything from GIFs to scientific method.

WAMU 88.5

International Military Action In Syria

French President Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington to seek additional U.S. support in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and NATO holds an emergency meeting over the downed Russian fighter jet: An update on international military strategy in Syria.


Used Rocket Is A New Breakthrough For Blue Origin's Space Plan

Blue Origin, the space company founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, has sent a craft past the edge of space and then landed its rocket safely – and vertically — in Texas.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.