Construction remains one of the most dangerous fields in America to work in. Despite attempts at the federal, state and even private business levels, construction workers face great risks and high death rates. Companies and workers can prevent most construction worker deaths, but some do result from an act of nature.
Lighting strikes represent one instance of this. While getting struck by lightning remains a rare phenomenon, it does happen. Unfortunately, construction workers make up a significant number of the people who die from this. Forbes reports that in 2018, almost 20% of lightning-related deaths occurred in settings that involved construction work.
What people can do to reduce the risk
While one cannot control an act of nature, employers should take measures to reduce employees’ exposure to lightning risks. In fact, OSHA issued specific guidelines for employers with workers who conduct some or all duties outdoors.
Good managers save lives by actively monitoring the weather conditions and ordering take-cover measures when lighting strikes begin to occur within eight miles of the site. Once the storm passes, the general rule of thumb states that workers wait at least half an hour before using tools again.
How lighting affects the body
Business Insider estimates that 90% of people struck by lighting in America generally live to tell the tale. Even so, victims often face permanent injuries from the incident. When one considers that lightning strikes can trigger large forest fires, it breeds concerns about what it can do to the human body.
When seeking shelter, the two best options include inside a building or inside a metal vehicle with a hard top. Business Insider states that people stuck outside should avoid open fields, poles and isolated trees.