App tracks whether employers should be working in the heat

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Wayne Pierce shut his tow truck’s door and turned on the air conditioner on full blast on Tuesday.

It was a hot day out, Pierce said it came with a lot of sweating and trying to stay cool.

Pierce is a wrecking operator for ‘Apollo Towing Service’, and on a hot day, he said the key to staying cool is being quick.

“When we’re out there working we try to get the vehicle loaded at least within ten minutes,” Pierce said.

Some of his equipment like the truck’s flatbed can get extremely hot, so he has to be careful when hooking up a car.

Wayne’s manager, Justin Watson, uses the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool app.

“It’ll have basically a meter showing the least dangerous to the most dangerous temperatures,” Watson said as he explained the app.

The app reads the heat index in his location, which is what the temperature feels like outside.

It tells him when it’s too hot for his employees to be working outside. It also lists symptoms of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Watson uses the app so he knows when his employees should be taking breaks.

“Anything that takes more time, we’re always looking at that app and making sure ok, we’re in the danger zone. We’re going to alter our procedures. Instead of every 30 minutes, we’re going to drop it down to every 15 minutes,” Watson said.

When the app tells him it’s very hot, he’ll put extra wreck operators out on a scene if he knows employees will be outside for a long time. They have enough workers to rotate them for breaks when needed.

OSHA’s assistant regional administrator for cooperative and state programs Candra Jefferson said the summer is when they receive the most complaints from employees working out in the heat for too long.

While employees are not required to use the app, and can’t report the employer on the app itself,people using the app can use their website or call them to file a complaint.

In some cases, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who refuses to work in the heat.

“We evaluate complaints on a case-by-case basis and when the complaint is deemed valid, we will investigate,” Jefferson said.

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Lifeguard shortage means reduced pool hours in Fort Worth

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Fort Worth said that due to the national lifeguard shortage, hours at Fort Worth pools will be reduced for the rest of the summer.  

Officials said they determined that the current staffing level is not at the level required to safely open both pools six days a week.  

Starting June 16, the Marine Park and Forest Park pools will be open 12:30 p.m. through 6:30 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.  

Officials also said that no more pool rentals will be booked this summer, to make sure that the focus of lifeguards is on public hours of operation. 

Hours at the Sycamore Spray Ground and McDonald YMCA are not affected by closures or reduced operating hours. 

Learn to Swim classes and swim team practices will not be affected since those activities don’t require additional lifeguards onsite. 

“After last year’s hiring difficulties, we knew this season was going to be trying, so we started the hiring process earlier, increased the hourly pay twice (second highest in the area), added incentive pay and increased tryout and certification classes,” said Kelli Pickard, assistant director of the Park & Recreation Department. “We are still actively trying to hire.” 

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Twin brothers battle for valedictorian spot at Katy High School

KATY – The tie has officially been broken. Arman Saxena has been named Katy High School’s valedictorian. His twin brother, Ronak Saxena, is the salutatorian.

The tie was so close that it only came down to about half a point.

Twin brothers, Arman and Ronak are seniors at Katy High School.

The two were born only one minute apart.

They’ve always been close at pretty much everything.

“Chess competitions, we did math competitions, we did oral reading competitions,” said Arman.

“We’ve always achieved the same level of success even in different subjects,” said Ronak.

The two have been tied neck and neck for the number one spot at Katy High school.

“I never expected us to be as high as we are, valedictorian and salutatorian, but I thought we would be tied,” said Arman.

They both currently have about a 5.0 GPA and are involved in several activities. They even started the school’s only quiz bowl team.

But at Katy High School, there can only be one valedictorian.

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“They had to look at all the classes that we shared and who got the higher grades in those classes,” said Arman.

The brothers say it’s never been a rivalry, just a friendly competition.

“If he got an A on a test, I’d be like, ‘Oh, I need to get this A as well,” said Ronak.

They’ve worked hard, pushed each other and helped each other along the way.

“I would say that we’ve always been really close, as fraternal twins that’s inevitable,” said Arman.

The boys credit their parents for a lot of their success.

“My parents definitely always pushed us to do our best,” said Ronak.

“The main goal that we have for our boys is just so that they grow up into good human beings,” said mom Sara Saxena.

“We are very, very proud of what they’ve done so far something we are very happy about,” said dad Rohit Saxena.

Both brothers plan to attend Rice University in the fall. Arman plans to study statistics and business and Ronak wants to major in bio-engineering.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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Houston gas station claims thieves stole over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel from underground storage tanks

HOUSTON – A family-owned gas station in southwest Houston claims thousands of dollars’ worth of diesel fuel was stolen from their underground storage tanks by alleged thieves.

Jerry Thayil, the manager at the Fuqua Express gas station, said he first noticed something was wrong while doing his daily inventory checks and began reviewing surveillance video.

Thayil said he noticed a dark-colored van parking over the store’s storage tanks on multiple occasions.

“At first we were like, I wonder what he’s doing there because we didn’t see anyone get out of the vehicle but then we realized there’s probably a trap door inside the vehicle and he’s pumping like that,” Thayil said.

Thayil said his family’s business was hit three times for about 350 gallons of diesel per day. On the fourth attempt, he said he was at the store.

“As soon I saw him drive over the tanks, I sprinted out of the office,” said Thayil.

In surveillance video, Thayil can be seen chasing down the van’s driver who speeds off.

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“We have bills to pay, we got employees that count on us, that need that money,” Thayil said.

Thayil believes the van’s driver may have had an accomplice in a separate vehicle.

He has filed a police report with the Houston Police Department and notified them of what he believes took place.

KPRC 2 reached out to HPD but unable to get any information on the case at the time.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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