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Control measure
Safe system of work: Lightning

Control measure knowledge

Weather warnings for lightning may provide fire and rescue services with advance information about when lightning may occur.

If lightning is a hazard the safety of personnel should be based on an incident ground risk assessment. Working where lightning strike is a risk should be avoided if possible, and the following activities may need to be restricted or stopped:

  • Working at height
  • Working on, in or near water
  • Working in the open
  • Working near or on tall structures
  • Carrying or pitching ladders

Even when undertaking lifesaving activities, a cordon of 10m around tall structures, such as transmission towers, is recommended.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide personnel with access to weather warnings for lightning

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider stopping activities where there is a risk of lightning strike
  • Consider seeking appropriate shelter where there is a risk of lightning strike

  • Avoid working in open areas, at height, near tall structures or on, in or near water where there is a risk of lightning strike

  • Control and restrict the use of conductive equipment such as ladders