Summer heat is a potential threat to those who work outdoors

Published 10:49 am Friday, August 5, 2016


Spend just a few minutes outside and in no time the summer heat seeps into one’s conscious.

For those of us who are blessed to have been born in the South, the summer’s heat and humidity are expected. For those who choose to live in the South, the heat and humidity are accepted.

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For those who choose to work outdoors, however, the heat and humidity are threats.

Although we may never know with certainty, Vicksburg may have seen just how dangerous the heat can be this week following a tragic accident.

Autopsy results of James Michael Pace, the roofing contractor who fell to his death Tuesday while working on top of the Vicksburg Convention Center, may never be made public.

But, the man’s final social media posts will lead some to believe heat played a factor in his death.

“Please say some prayers for me and my coworkers … y’all this heat has never gotten to me like this and I now see how serious it is.”

He posted that foreboding message a little more than an hour before he reportedly fell.

Without speculating on what ultimately caused Pace to fall to his death, some of his comments reflect common symptoms of heat exhaustion and ultimately heat stroke.

Those symptoms include: confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat and profuse sweating, among others.

Recently, temperatures in Vicksburg have reached high in the 90s, with high humidity and sporadic cloud cover. Tuesday was no exception.

It was hot, and Pace worked in a profession that is asked to battle the elements and work outside.

Pace’s death is a tragedy for his friends, his co-workers and his family. He will be sorely missed, we are certain.

But, his death — if connected to the heat — should be a stark reminder of just how dangerous our summer weather can be, and how important it is to take every possible precaution.