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Protect your employees from a lightning strike at work

by , 15 February 2013
There's been a number of fatal lightning strikes across South Africa this week. It's hard to predict when a thunderstorm will turn deadly and it may seem silly to tell your staff to step inside whenever it starts storming, especially if the nature of their work is outside. But it's the easiest way to protect your employees from being struck by lightning. Here's what to do if anemployee isstruck by lightning.

The SA Weather Service says more than 260 people are killed by lightning in South Africa each year.
Two women died after being struck by lightning in KwaZulu-Natal, says IOL News.
And six schoolchildren are still in hospital in Johannesburg after being struck by lightning earlier this week, says News24.
They're not the only ones. Four girls were injured on Monday after a lightning strike at Protea Glen Secondary School in Soweto.
While nine boys from the King Edward VII School (KES) first cricket team were also struck by lightning while covering the cricket pitch.
But what can you do to protect your staff from a lightning strike?
Lightning can strike at any time.
The best way to protect your staff's health and safety during a thunderstorm is to make sure they're not working outside.
'People should get inside a building when there is a thunderstorm, as lightning is dangerous up to 20km from where it strikes,' says lightning expert Prof Ian Jandrell of Wits University's high-voltage laboratory on The Citizen.
Here's what to do if an employee is injured during a lightning strike
If an employee is injured during a lightning strike while at work, the first thing to do is call for help immediately.
Get your health and safety officer or trained first aider to wait until the lightning has passed before checking if the employee struck by lightning needs CPR, says WebMD.
If the employee's pulse and breathing have stopped or seem dangerously weak, your health and safety officer can begin CPR, but shouldn't remove any burned clothing unless necessary, as it may be stuck to the employee.
Make sure your first aid kit is stocked with two CPR mouth pieces or similar devices, and that your first aiders are trained on how to use these items properly, says the Health and Safety Bulletin
Don't forget you're legally obliged to report any injuries that occur in the workplace to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Fund!

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