Thunderstorms and Lightning - July 26th, 2013

Greetings from Gemini Energy Services! Here is the latest issue of our Bi-Weekly Safety Newsletter, and thank you for taking the time to check it out.

The wind industry is filled with hazards and the purpose of this newsletter is to share useful information, refresher training and safe work practices to our subscribers so that we can raise the bar for safety throughout the industry.  This week's topic focuses on Thunderstorms & Lightning.

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Best regards,
The Gemini Team
Dangers of a Thunderstorm

All thunderstorms are dangerous and every thunderstorm produces lightning.  There are about 1,700 electrical storms active throughout the world at any time producing over 100 flashes per second. This equates to some 7 to 8 million strikes per day. Of these, about 90% are cloud-to-cloud discharges and the remaining are predominately cloud-to-ground strikes.While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. In 2012 there were 29 fatalities and 182 injuries from lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities - more than 140 annually - than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months in the afternoon and evening.

Be smart this summer to help reduce your risks


Below are a few tips to start:


  1. Postpone outdoor activities when a storm is being forecasted.
  2. Unplug electronic equipment before the storms begins.
  3. Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: The first "30" represents 30 seconds. If the time between when you see the flash and hear the thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightening is close enough to hit you.
  4. During a storm, use your NOAA Weather Radio and smart phone app for updates from local officials.
  5. Avoid contact with any metal - tractors, motorcycles, bicycles and golf clubs.
  6. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower or wash dishes or do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.


For more tips and helpful information, visit

Gemini Energy Services is the premier independent service provider to the wind industry.  Safety is not just a philosophy at Gemini; it's our defining characteristic.  Whether Gemini technicians are driving to the project site or working on energized equipment in the hub, we strive for zero injuries.  Our proactive safety initiatives, which incorporate safety indoctrination, tailgate safety meetings, ongoing Personal Qualification Standards (PQS), a safety incentive program and completion of thorough Job Site Assessments, have resulted in an unblemished safety record.  We are confident that our colleagues in the wind industry share our commitment to safety and a zero-injury workplace.  


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