There are approximately 25 million lightning flashes each year in the U.S, which result with an average of 62 deaths and at least 300 injuries annually. Employees should prepare and have protection measures in place against lightning at home, office, and the workplace.
Prepare for lightning strikes. Consider installing a lightning protection system to ground your house and equipment, surge arresters to prevent surges from entering your home or other structures on power or telephone lines, and transient voltage surge suppressors in receptacles to limit the voltage on equipment.
Have an emergency plan in the office, disaster area, and at home. Communicate safe areas and practices to employees and family members. These include how to shelter during a thunderstorm; how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water; how and when to call 911, police, and fire department; and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
Anticipate thunderstorms ahead. Watch for dark, towering, or threatening clouds; expect an approaching thunderstorm when you see a flash of lightning, hear thunder roll, or when your hair stands on end; observe weather alerts issued by the National Weather Service on TV or radio. Seek a safe shelter (i.e.; enclosed building, car etc.) immediately when a thunderstorm approaches.
If outdoors, avoid tall trees, water, grouping with other people, metal fences, convertibles, gazebos, picnic shelters, toss golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets, baseball bats, tools, and walking sticks. If no safe shelter is available, crouch down on your feet; keep hands on your knees and lower your head. Get as low as possible. DO NOT touch the ground with hands or knees; DO NOT lie down!
If indoors, disconnect and turn off all electrical devices and do not touch them during the storm. Avoid water, doors, and windows; do not use the telephone.
It is safe to help injured individual; they do not carry an electrical charge. Apply first aid if you are qualified. Call 911 immediately.