Lightning strikes, risk of fire threaten field workers

Safety Alert Type: 
Interior region of BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A storm developed at the end of the day while workers were walking out of the block. The storm came up quickly and included high winds, rain, hail, thunder and lightning.

The crew was walking out in the open on a built road without any standing timber around them.

Potential Hazards:

  • Risk of being struck by lightning when exposed or working in the open
  • Being trapped without an evacuation plan when lightning strikes ignite a wildfire.


Learnings and Suggestions: 

Monitor the weather and make suitable plans when lightning is forecast, which should include evacuation and identified shelter locations. Suspend activities at first sign of thunder & allow sufficient time to get to shelter.

Safe shelters include:

  • Pickup truck with windows fully up
  • Under mature forest canopy with uniform tree heights - or if necessary, low ground (i.e., ditches or under clumps of bushes).

Wait a minimum 30 minutes from the last lightning strike or thunder clap before resuming work if required to work in the open. When thunder is heard, AVOID solitary trees, water, open fields, small rain/sun shelters/gazebos, and using the telephone or touching appliances. (Portable radios & cell phones are safe to use.)

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com


File attachments
Safety_Alert-Canfor-Lightning risk-July_2017.pdf
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