When on the job and, particularly, on construction, mining, and transportation duties, a worker must always maintain vigilance in seeing what is around that could be potentially dangerous. Unusual accidents can happen for no other reason than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Act of God” events, such as sudden lightning strikes, can seriously maim or kill someone right where they stand. Even a vehicle is not a safe place unless the driver stays inside the vehicle and does not touch anything inside the vehicle using one’s hands. Never open the vehicle door and step onto the road. If there is an electrical charge running into the ground, you may get hit.
If you are in a building when a severe lightning strike happens, stay inside until the storm moves away from the area. During this time in the building, do not use a landline phone as you can receive an electrical charge. Be careful about flipping on light switches as well, as these can also carry secondary lightning charges.
Do not touch anything in the building that may carry electrical charges through it, such as electrical wire cables, any type of antenna, any metal framework attached to the building in some way, and avoid any puddles of water from roof leaks, located close to any of the previously listed danger points.
Do not turn on any electric stoves or run the microwave in the cafeteria. In fact, do not even touch the refrigerator. Any of these can carry electrical charges that can seriously hurt you.
If you are at work, save your files and shut down your computer and router to avoid drawing in any electrical charges that could damage the computer and send you a charge while you are typing. You can also unplug the computer too, to protect the internal parts. If you have a digital radio, unplug it as well to avoid damaging the electronics that control the settings panel.
Amazingly, do not take showers or baths at work or at home during a thunderstorm. If you touch steel faucets and showerheads, you can receive an unpleasant electrical shock. Combine that with the water you are in, and you will be in a very dangerous situation. You could even die.
If you have just parked the car at work during a storm and begin walking to the door with your umbrella, you can attract a lightning strike. First, wait in the car until the strikes move off. Then it is safer to get out and move to the employer’s front door. Do not carry an umbrella as the metal rods may attract a lightning strike. Better to get wet than dead.
While many of today’s modern road vehicles come with a rear video viewer so the driver can see if anyone is behind the car while backing up, construction vehicles are still somewhat behind the times, making it dangerous whenever backing up. Always get another worker to spot you, so you know you will not run over anyone. Even in regular vehicles, there is always the blind spot which no amount of turning one’s head and body, will fix.
Avoid scaffolding with metal parts and take cover in a safe place, preferably a building close by the worksite. Do not carry any metal tools in your hands. Remove any metal items such as hard metal hats, metal buckle belts, and harnesses, and get to safety. Most likely, your site manager will warn you to do these things before the weather and lightning strikes get too rough.
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