NT WorkSafe recently issued a safety alert reminding businesses and workers of the inherent dangers of lightning strikes in the Top End and the need to manage the risk of serious injury or death to outdoor workers.
The alert was issued following an incident on 23 November 2021, when three workers working on a mango farm were injured (one critically) after lightning struck a nearby mango tree.
At the time of the incident, the three workers were fertilising trees while standing on a metal flatbed trailer being towed by a tractor through the mango orchard.
The three workers were transported to Royal Darwin Hospital, where unfortunately one of the workers succumbed to his injuries later in the week.
Preliminary findings indicate that during an approximate one-hour period that afternoon, 38 lightning strikes were recorded within a 50km area of the incident scene.
The safety alert noted there is an increased frequency of thunderstorms from the months of November to April in the Top End.
The alert recommended a number of actions, and said businesses and workers operating outdoors, especially those in the Top End, must have procedures in place to manage the risks associated with lightning strikes:
The alert also recommended a number of actions for workers: