Employees in the landscaping and tree care industries are more vulnerable than most to be struck by lightning. This is a work injury that could be fatal, and all possible precautions must be taken to avoid the outdoors during thunderstorms. Stormy weather patterns are common in Arizona during the summer months, and employers must ensure that employees know the risks, and know what to do when they are caught in such hazardous weather conditions.
The National Weather Service says approximately 25 million lightning flashes between clouds and the ground occur nationwide each year. Further data reveals that over 1,000 people are victims of lightning strikes per year, and an average of 50 of those incidents are fatal. Many others who survive are left with neurological disabilities that are irreversible.
These numbers might convince those landscapers who are skeptical about the likelihood of being struck by lightning. Safety authorities recommend that employers refer to the weather services during thunderstorm season, and to ensure outside workers know when and where to take cover. They say that the fact that the rain has stopped does not mean it is safe, workers should not venture outside for at least half-an-hour after the last sound of thunder.
Being struck by lightning can cause burn injuries, and some victims may even stop breathing. A victim of such a work injury might be hospitalized for an extended time. Lost income and medical expenses could become overwhelming, but help is available. An experienced Arizona workers’ compensation attorney can assist with the filing of benefits claims that might provide the necessary financial relief.