People at greatest risk of being struck by lightning are those who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities.
The following occupations have the highest risk of lightning strikes:
Construction and building maintenance
Farming and field labor
Explosives handling or storage
Heavy equipment operation
Pipefitting or plumbing
Telecommunications field repair
Power utility field repair
Airport ground personnel
Pool and beach lifeguarding
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
If you work in high-risk occupations, you can take steps to protect yourself from lightning.
Check the forecast
Know the daily weather forecast so you are prepared and know what weather to expect during the day.
When thunder roars, go indoors!
If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, get to a safe place immediately.
Watch for signs of potential lightning strikes
Pay attention to early weather signs of potential lightning strikes, such as high winds, dark clouds, or distant thunder or lightning. When these occur, don’t start any activity that you can’t quickly stop.
Call 911 if someone is struck by lightning
If your coworker is struck by lightning, call 911. Immediately begin first aid, if necessary. People who have been struck by lightning DO NOT carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely.
Follow your company’s safety program Know your company’s lightning safety warning program, if it has one. These programs should include access to a safe location and danger warnings that can be issued in time for everyone to get to the safe location.
Assess the threat Although no place outside is safe during a storm, you can minimize your risk by assessing the lightning threat early and taking appropriate actions. For example, if you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. Stop what you are doing and seek safety in a building or hard-top vehicle with the windows rolled up. When lightning strikes a hard-top metal vehicle, it goes through the metal frame, through the tires, and into the ground.
Avoid tall structures Avoid anything tall or high, including rooftops, scaffolding, utility poles, cell phone towers, ladders, trees, and large equipment, such as bulldozers, cranes, and tractors.
Avoid conductive materials Do NOT touch materials or surfaces that conduct electricity, including metal scaffolding, metal equipment, utility lines, water, water pipes, or plumbing.
Stay away from explosives If you are in an area with explosives, leave immediately.