Lightning Injury

Lightning injury is an extreme form of electrocution injury. Tremendous voltages build up between the atmosphere and the earth, typically discharging in a spark striking high points, such as buildings or trees. The arcing electricity causes instantaneous superheating of the air, resulting in an explosive flash of visible lightning and thunder.

Agricultural workers are at risk for lightning strikes because of their outdoor work. Lightning may cause injury through a direct strike, which is usually fatal, or indirectly through current flows that occur in the vicinity of a strike. Indirect electrocution from lightning often causes burns but is not necessarily fatal.

Outdoor work should be halted during lightning storms. Workers caught outdoors in a lightning storm should take shelter in a building or car. If shelter is unavailable, they should seek low ground, such as gullies, and keep low. Workers should not remain on farm machinery such as tractors and should get out of the water if swimming or boating. It is unwise to seek shelter under lone or prominent trees or other objects. Tools, especially long tools like hoes or metal ladders, should not be carried.

Lightning may also cause injury indirectly by downing trees, power lines, or starting fires. Downed power lines should not be handled. If a downed power line strikes a car, the occupant should avoid contact with metal in the car and drive away if possible. If this is not possible, it is safest to remain in the car, avoiding contact with metal, until the line is deenergized.

0 0

Post a comment