6-8 Firefighter safety during lightning storms
Firefighters may be required to work during lightning storms.
Workers and apparatus may be struck by lightning, which can cause serious injury or death.
Actions for employers
Employers should develop procedures that address fire operation safety during lightning storms.
Consider the following when developing procedures:
- when to raise or lower aerial apparatus, lighting masts and ground ladders
- when to begin or cease roof operations
- moving pump operators off the ground onto the pump operator step or to the inside of the apparatus
- staging the rapid intervention team inside an apparatus or a building
- staging all personnel not on active assignment inside an apparatus or a building and committing the minimum number of personnel to complete outside assignments
- providing information to the incident commander of actual or potential lighting strikes in the vicinity of an incident, to assist in risk management analysis on scene
Applicable regulations and acts
- Occupational Health and Safety Act
- clause 25(2)(a) for providing information and instruction to a worker
- clause 25(2)(h) for taking every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers
For information on the application of occupational health and safety management systems to plans for work performed under heightened-risk conditions read CSA Z1010-18 - Management of work in extreme conditions
For information on areas at greatest risk of being struck by lightning in the next 10 minutes, view the Canadian lightning danger map - Ontario