Farrier's job no joke in this heat


WHEN it's hot, dusty and there's no wind, Peter Huxtable can feel "the sweat dripping off his fingertips".
The flies and midges swarm around him, sticking to his saturated skin. Added to this, he wears thick socks, heavy work boots and a long apron.
If you feel hot today, spare a thought for those who work outside, or in sweltering conditions - daily.
Mr Huxtable is a farrier - a maker and fitter of horseshoes - and says the temperamental animals, coupled with high humidity and concentration, often takes its toll.
"I had to stop after the third horse in a row the other day. I thought I was going to faint." On that day Tauranga's temperature reached 30.7C.
Temperatures in the Bay have peaked this week, with the MetService predicting more hot summer weather to come.
Greg Coldrick, of Tauranga's Coldrick Roofing, said he and his two employees were slapping on plenty of sunscreen and drinking about six litres of water a day.
"Tuesday was pretty bad with 30C. We have a swim at lunchtime and have been knocking off at about 4pm because it's just too hot," Mr Coldrick said.
Bay of Plenty glassblower Ron van der Vlught - a leading supplier of glass art to Tauranga - said he'd had to turn off his furnaces a week ago because of the heat, and they had remained off for maintenance.
They operate at 1250C.
"We stand one and a half metres away from the open furnace, which is probably about 45C.
"We drink lots of water and eat salty chips to keep our perspiration up. People coming into our gallery feel like they're getting off a plane at Bangkok," he said.
At Florentines Patisserie, managing director Greg Knight said his workers were feeling the heat even though the factory was air-conditioned.
Heather Colban, manager of New Zealand Drycleaners in Tauranga, said with two driers, two washing machines and two drycleaning machines going constantly, she was working in 30C-plus conditions daily.
"I'm drinking lots of water.

We have two fans, and we have everything open we possibly can.
"We're thankful for any breeze. It's very hot at the moment."
Also suffering in Tauranga's thick heat are the police.
Sergeant Nigel Ramsden, of Tauranga police, said the stab-proof vests that officers were required to wear were "very, very uncomfortable".
"All staff have been [instructed] to hydrate themselves regularly and make use of air-conditioning in the building and in the cars," he said.
"A few of the boys are going down to the A1 GP in Taupo this weekend and I imagine they will be very uncomfortable."
Mr Ramsden understood police were about to receive new shirts to wear under their vests made of lighter material which would be more "efficient for the body".

- Bay of Plenty Times

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