20/05/2022

HSSE WORLD

Health, Safety, Security and Environment

Photo of the day: Lightning Safety Tips

9 min read

Lightning kills more People than hail, wind, rain, and tornadoes combined, making lightning an important safety consideration. This fact is especially true for people who work outdoors. While the odds of getting struck by lightning are less than one in a million, by referring to Environment Canada (2021) says lightning kills 2 to 3 people every year in this country and injures another 80 people. Most of these injuries and fatalities occur between June and August. Most fatalities were people in open areas or taking shelter under a tree.

The Photo of today outlines outdoor and indoor Lighting Safety Tips including the best defense is to avoid lightning, Knowing what to do when lightning is close is especially important for people who work outdoors (for example, those involved in outdoor recreation, construction workers, road crews, landscapers, and farm workers).

Read Also: Thunderstorm and Lightning Preparedness

Lightning Safety Tips

General

Employers need to recognize the hazards associated with electrical storms and, where appropriate, have safe procedures and work systems in place, to minimize the risk of injury or harm to employees, and should review these policies seasonally.

Having a preparedness plan and taking safety measures can prevent many lightning deaths and injuries.

Lightning safety procedures may include:

  • outlining what actions workers must take when hearing thunder, seeing lightning, or warning signs of an approaching storm
  • having a procedure to notify workers about lightning safety warnings
  • identifying safe locations and shelters
  • requiring workers to reach a safe location within a specified time period
  • establishing criteria for stopping and restarting outdoor work activities
  • Make sure the public is evacuated, for example at a golf course, public beach, or swimming pool
  • checking in with all workers after a thunderstorm has passed
  • training workers on the lightning preparedness plan

What should I know about lightning?

A lightning bolt is a million times more powerful than a household current, carrying up to 100 million volts of electricity. When someone is struck by lightning, an electrical shock occurs that can cause burns and even stop the person’s breathing.

Although thunder and lightning can occur occasionally during a snowstorm, April to October is the prime thunderstorm months with the highest number of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes occurring in July in Canada. Thunderstorms occur most often in the late afternoon or evening, and around sunrise. Knowing how lightning behaves can help you plan for an approaching storm. It tends to strike the higher ground and prominent objects, especially materials that are good conductors of electricity, such as metal. Thunder can be a good indicator of lightning – loud crackling means it’s close, whereas rumbling means the storm is further away. Lightning can strike as far as 16 kilometers outside of rainfall areas.

Because light travels faster than sound, you will see lightning before you hear the thunder. Each second between the flash and the thunderclap represents about 300 meters. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. Immediately go to the nearest well-constructed building or a fully enclosed, metal-topped vehicle. There is NO safe place to be outside in a thunderstorm. Remain in the sheltered area for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last thunder.

Read Also: Be Ready for Severe Weather during Construction works

Protection from Lightning and Safety Tips

Protection from lightning begins before the storm. Paying attention to weather conditions and forecasts allows time to plan for threatening weather and to react appropriately. below are safety tips to protect from lightning:

1- Outdoor Safety Tips

The best defense is to avoid lightning. Here are some outdoor safety tips that can help you avoid being struck:

Do

  • Be aware
    Check the weather forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If the forecast calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is readily available.
  • Go indoors
    Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with windows rolled up.
  • Seek shelter immediately even if caught out in the open
    If you are caught in an open area, act quickly to find adequate shelter. The most important action is to remove yourself from danger. Crouching or getting low to the ground can reduce your chances of being struck, but does not remove you from danger. If you are caught outside with no safe shelter nearby, the following actions may reduce your risk:
    • Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, or peaks.
    • Never lie flat on the ground. Crouch down in a ball-like position with your head tucked and hands over your ears so that you are down low with minimal contact with the ground.
    • Never shelter under an isolated tree.
    • Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter.
    • Immediately get out of and away from ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water.
    • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.).
  • Separate
    If you are in a group during a thunderstorm, separate from each other. This will reduce the number of injuries if lightning strikes the ground.

Download: E-Books: Practical Guide To Electrical Grounding

Don’t

  • Don’t stay in open vehicles, structures, and spaces
    During a thunderstorm, avoid open vehicles such as convertibles, motorcycles, and golf carts. Be sure to avoid open structures such as porches, gazebos, baseball dugouts, and sports arenas. And stay away from open spaces such as golf courses, parks, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, and beaches.
  • Don’t stay near tall structures
    Do NOT lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm. Also, avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

2- Indoor Safety Tips

Even though your home is a safe shelter during a lightning storm, you may still be at risk. About one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors. Here are some tips to keep safe and reduce your risk of being struck by lightning while indoors.

  • Avoid water
    Do NOT bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
  • Avoid electronic equipment
    Do NOT use your computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip your home with whole-house surge protectors to protect your appliances.
  • Avoid corded phones
    Corded phones are NOT safe to use during a thunderstorm. Do NOT use them. However, it is safe to use cordless or cellular phones during a storm.
  • Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete
    Do NOT lie on concrete floors during a thunderstorm. Also, avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.

What should you do if someone has been hit by lightning?

Lightning victims are safe to touch. Bystanders shouldn’t hesitate to save a life by calling for help. If the victim is not breathing or they do not have a pulse, a trained rescuer should administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

What should you do if you hear the thunder?

When Environment Canada issues a storm warning, or if you can already hear thunder, remember to take shelter from the storm and protect yourself. There are also commercially available personal lightning detection devices that can be carried on a person to help warn about how close a storm is.

Preparedness for a storm is essential. Listen to your local forecast for the possibility of thunderstorm activity. Keep an eye on the sky. If the sky suddenly darkens, be prepared to take shelter.

Test yourself: Online Quiz: lightning Safety

Download the photo

Now you can download the Infographic ” Lightning Safety Tips ” and post it at the workplace and communicate with everyone to be familiar with the outdoor and Indoor lightning Safety Tips to avoid fatalities


Photo of the day: Lightning Safety Tips


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