Caught at Work During a Severe Storm? 5 Lightning Safety Tips to Know

Lightning kills about 50 people every year. When a thunderstorm hits, get inside a safe building as quickly as you can. If you’re already in a building, don’t leave unless it’s not safe.

That being said, you need to be aware that some things inside your building can be dangerous. Below we’ll review a few lightning safety tips to follow when you’re at work.

1. Stay Away from Corded Phones

If your business uses corded phones, avoid them like the plague. Electricity can run through the cord and can lead to injury.

If you need to use a phone, use either a cellphone or a cordless phone. Only touch these objects if they aren’t being charged, as you can be electrocuted when you touch them.

2. Don’t Go near Windows or Doors

Get as far away from windows and doors as you can. The glass on your door (if it has glass) and your windows can shatter from high winds or hail.

To better protect yourself from flying glass, make sure your windows are covered. If there are blinds or drapes on the windows, make sure they’re fully covering the windows. For more extreme cases you may need to use foam weatherstripping or caulk.

Water can seep in through the bottom of your doors as well. Natural water is conductive to electricity, you want to avoid it at all costs.

3. Avoid Electrical Equipment

Stay away from all electrical equipment and cords. For example, televisions, computers, radios, appliances (coffee makers and microwaves), and power tools.

Even if you have surge protectors, they may not be as safe as you think. Depending on the severity of the storm and the quality of your surge protector can have an impact. If you have a poor surge protector, the electricity will cause damage to you and the equipment.

If you know a severe storm is coming, you can unplug these types of equipment beforehand. This way they won’t get damaged during the storm. Moreover, if you use a laptop and it’s not plugged in you can continue to use it.

4. Avoid Water

Avoid anything connected to metal plumbing as they can conduct lightning. This can include sinks and faucets. Don’t wash your hands or clean any dirty dishes. If you’re a facility that does laundry, do not run or touch the washers or dryers.

5. If Possible, Avoid Concrete Surfaces

If your business is in a concrete building, it may be better to go to a safer location. If that isn’t possible, avoid as much contact as you can with the concrete. Don’t touch concrete walls, nor should you lie on concrete floors.

Concrete surfaces may have metal wires or bars running through them. Lightning can run through these metal objects. That lightning can come in contact with you if you’re touching the concrete.

If You Work Outside

Let’s say you’re a construction worker, chances are you’ll get rained on. When a thunderstorm hits though, you’ll need to find shelter quick. This may not be an easy solution.

Some construction sites offer safe shelters for their employees to use. If those aren’t available you may need to use your car.

If you’re in your car, make sure your windows are rolled up. Don’t touch anything that could have an electrical current running through it. For example, metal door handles, radios, your phone (if plugged in), etc.

Work Smart with These Lightning Safety Tips

Now that you have read our lightning safety tips, it’s time to use them. Take every advantage you can to keep yourself safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Review our helpful tips to learn what can be done if your business loses power. If you’re worried about a severe storm striking your business, contact us. We’ll review your disaster plan free of charge.


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