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Construction Worker Caroline Lewis

Reaching for the stars from 1,000 feet high

By Samantha Roberts | March 22 , 2007
Caroline Lewis works as a construction worker for Hamon Custodis, an industrial chimney company. (Photo: Courtesy Caroline Lewis)
Caroline Lewis works as a construction worker for Hamon Custodis, an industrial chimney company. (Photo: Courtesy Caroline Lewis)

Imagine working a thousand feet in the air, repairing a smokestack. Caroline Lewis does this for a living!

Lewis is a perfect role model for Women’s History Month. She is an ordinary woman who has achieved extraordinary accomplishments in the work place. She works in a field dominated by men, and is proving that women can handle it.

As a construction worker for Hamon Custodis, an industrial chimney company, Lewis’s job requires her to work on brick, steel, and concrete smokestacks, as well as silos and water towers. She travels the world for her work.

Her responsibilities range from standing on the ground to do an inspection with binoculars—to completely demolishing a smokestack!

When asked if she is ever afraid, she admits that sometimes she is: “When I look down and can’t see anything but the ground, it scares me a little.”

Safety requirements for her job have come a long way in her 25 years in the business. When Lewis first began working on smokestacks, most people didn’t wear hard hats or even harnesses. Now the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, an entity of the federal government, oversees workplace safety.

As she balances in her harness, tools in hand, 1,000 feet above the earth’s surface, Lewis says she is just doing her job. “I’m not out to make history,” she says. “I just love my doing my job.”

In the process she has paved the way for women in her field.

Women’s History Month

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about some amazing women who changed history.

 

About the Author

Samantha Roberts is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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