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Stretching out (PHOTO SLIDESHOW)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Workers on the new Milwaukee Bucks arena are taking a cue from the athletes who will be playing inside — and warming up before hitting the job.

Minnesota-based Mortenson Construction is managing the $524 million project, which started last June and is expected to wrap up next fall.

Operating Group Safety Director Mel Langlais says the morning sessions with the 500 to 600 workers squatting, stretching and wiggling “in the middle” sets a tone for the rest of the day and gets their minds focused on safety. They also meet in smaller groups midday.

Mortenson started daily stretching about 20 years ago. Langlais says some workers were skeptical at the warmup program initially, but it has now become part of their culture.

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