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Workers brave infernal conditions

Saturday, 11th February, 2017

Roofer Dave O’Meara in the heat yesterday ... he called time at 2pm and gave his workers the weekend off. PICTURE: Michael Murphy Roofer Dave O’Meara in the heat yesterday ... he called time at 2pm and gave his workers the weekend off. PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Michael Murphy

If you ever wanted to see contractors on a hot tin roof, this week was the week.

Major works on houses around Broken Hill damaged by last November’s fierce ice storm ground to a halt about 2pm yesterday when the scorching heat finally took the steam out of workers, and they called it a day.

“The boys have been working all week and pushing it pretty hard,” said Capricorn Roofing Project Manager Dave O’Meara.

“So we decided to push it until Monday and give the guys a weekend (off).”

The contractors swung into major works last week after only doing minor jobs before Christmas, mostly fixing patios so people could entertain over the holidays.

But the 40-plus temperatures this week took their toll, and Mr Meara said “hydrating” was critical.

“What you really want to do is hydrate before you get to work, so when you first wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning you want to be drinking at least 1.25l of water,” Mr O’Meara said.

“Because once it gets hot, you are never going to keep yourself hydrated.

“We have also found a good pair of gloves that we use. We cut the fingers out of them so you can still pick up the sheet. It’s a slim-fitting glove that works.”

He said a lot of people chose a darker coloured roofing material which created a bit more heat for the workers.

But they’ll have to get used to the Broken Hill weather, they might be here for the next three years.

“We were here two days after the main event in November but we have sort of been pushing it back a little,” Mr O’Meara said.

“When we initially looked at it we predicted a year but as the time has gone by, it is probably going to be more like three years.”

Capricorn has set up a shopfront in Oxide Street. Residents with dented roofs can ask them to inspect their damaged property and they’ll prepare a report for insurance companies to consider.

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