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What is lightning ?

Lightning is formed during thunderstorms when liquid particles within the clouds collide. Gradually these interaction build up large separated electrical fields in the clouds and once these electric fields become powerful enough to overcome the resistance of the air, a giant "spark" occurs between them (as with static electricity) reducing the charge separation.

The lightning bolt, can occur between clouds, but more pertinently between a cloud and the ground. Lightning strikes to earth, follows the sequence.

Lightning Safety for Outdoor Workers

Lightning safety awareness should be a priority at every outdoor facility and operation, where education is the single most important means to achieving this goal.

The number one rule is that workers need to always consider their own situational safety, and those who may find themselves exposed to the risk should always recognize and anticipate their exposure to a changing or high-risk situation, and where appropriate move to a lower-risk location.

The following steps are suggested:

  1. Regularly monitor weather conditions and local weather forecasts prior to scheduled activities.
  2. Suspension and resumption of work activities should be planned in advance, in conjunction with a Lightning Risk Policy.


3. Understanding of SAFE shelters is essential. SAFE evacuation sites include:

• Fully enclosed metal vehicles with windows up
• Substantial buildings
• Low ground

4. UNSAFE SHELTER AREAS include all outdoor metal objects, like power poles, fences and gates, high mast light poles, electrical equipment, mowing and road machinery.

• AVOID solitary trees.
• AVOID water.
• AVOID open fields.
• AVOID high ground and caves.

5. If you feel your hair standing on end, and/or hear "crackling noises," you are in lightning's electric field. If caught outside during close lightning activity, immediately remove metal objects (including baseball cap, jewellery, belts, car keys etc), place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low with hands on knees.


6. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the last observed lightning or thunder before resuming activities. Be extra cautious during this phase as the storm may not be over.

7. People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Apply first aid immediately if you are qualified to do so. Get emergency help promptly.

8. Lightning's remote distance is easy to calculate: If you hear thunder, the associated lightning is within audible range.

9. Suspend activities, allowing sufficient time to get to shelter. Of course, different distances to safety will determine different times to suspend activities.

10. Be aware of your surroundings and the nearest safe area.

What lightning can do:-




This page was last modified on 21st April 2012 and maybe out of date with regards to its information at the time of reading this article. The information above is only intended for use a guide and should not be 100% relied upon as a substitute for official manufacturer technical advice. Quality Electrics disclaims responsibility for any damage, claim, or liability any person may incur, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, as a result of anything contained in our articles.








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