A recent incident in the agricultural sector resulted in the death of a worker and injury to two others. The workers were in the vicinity of a tree which was struck by lightning.
Given that most parts of the country are into the storm or wet seasons, this a timely reminder to DRA members and supervisors when deployed in the field that several precautions should be in place including:
• Familiarise the team with the SWMS Operations during weather extremes
• Monitor forecasts and conditions
• Have a plan which is communicated to all
• Alert supervisors and fellow members when lightning or thunder is detected
• Identify locations to safely shelter within close proximity of the worksite. Safe shelters include:
o Fully enclosed large permanent structures or substantial buildings; or
o Enclosed ‘hard-top’ (metal-bodied) vehicles.
• Check in with all your workers after the thunderstorm has passed.
• Never seek shelter in temporary structures, sheds, buildings with unearthed metal roofs, or under trees.
• Avoid bodies of water and metal objects such as fencing that may conduct electricity.
• When sheltering (including inside a vehicle), avoid contact with the external surfaces, metal objects such as pipes, wiring, metal parts of the vehicle, and avoid using plugged in electrical equipment.
• Workers who are caught away from shelter should:
o Avoid being on the highest point in an open area or near tall objects, but do not lie flat on the ground.
o Crouch (alone) with your feet together, preferably in a ditch or hollow so you are not the highest object.
o Remove all metal objects from your body.
12 December 2021