What's New at Park Derochie | Severe Weather - Lightning
Friday, December 6, 2019
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Severe Weather - Lightning Krystal Watson
Severe Weather - Lightning



  • The majority of lightning strikes occur approximately 5 kilometers from the storm cell and can make contact upwards of 10 kilometers from the storm cell.
  • Contrary to rumor, lightning does strike the same place twice. The empire state building is struck by lightning approximately 100 times per year.
  • Every 3 seconds elapsed between the visible flash of lightning and the audible clap of thunder represents approximately 1 kilometer from the storm cell.
  • Standing beneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Never shelter yourself form the rain by standing beneath a tree.
  • If you are standing in a house you are not 100% safe from a lightning strike. The electrical current of lightning may travel through any conductive object – phone cords, appliance cables, plumbing, etc.
  • On a clear day you can see the lightning flash approximately 100 kilometers from the storm cell.
  • Lighting can cause forest fires, and forest fires can cause lighting. Smoke and carbon particles can initiate static in the upper atmosphere. Sufficient atmospheric static can spark an electrical discharge in the form of lightning.


Due to the amount of structural steel found within industrial and commerical construction worksites, construction workers are at an increased risk for contact with lightning.

Does your worksite have a client-specific Severe Weather policy or procedure? If not Park Derochie’s SMS documents have an Operating Procedure for instances when a client-specific Severe Weather policy/procedure is not in place.


  • Responsibilities for supervisors and employees in the event of an impending lightning storm.
  • Notification timeframes and proximity to an impending storm cell, and when all elevated work & confined space entry shall cease.
  • Implementation of the 30-30 lightning rule in instances when a more stringent lighting policy is not in place.
  • A designated lightning shelter pre-determined as the gathering point during impending lightning storms.
  • Employee headcounts to ensure the safety of all project workers.

Click here to view the full procedure.

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