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Texas Department of Insurance
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5 Tips for lightning safety

Workers whose jobs involve working outdoors or near water are at a higher risk for lightning hazards. Our tips can help.


1 Know the risks

If you hear thunder, get to a safe place immediately. If a fully-enclosed building is not available, get into a hard-topped metal vehicle with rolled-up windows. Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after hearing the last sound of thunder. Sheds, pavilions, tents, and porches do not give enough protection.

2 If you are caught outside without shelter

Avoid being near tall objects and construction equipment such as scaffolding, ladders, and cranes. Also avoid open spaces as lightning tends to strike the tallest object in an area. If you are caught outdoors, look for a set of smaller trees surrounded by larger trees. Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet (like a baseball catcher) and keep your head low. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground.

3 Avoid water

Move away from any water. Water does not attract lightning, but it is an excellent conductor of electricity.

4 Avoid wiring, plumbing, and fencing

Lightning can travel long distances through metal. Stay away from all metal objects, equipment, and surfaces that can conduct electricity.

5 Make a plan

Check NOAA weather reports before beginning outdoor work. Incorporate lightning safety into your emergency action plan.


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Last updated: 3/22/2021