Meteorological equipment manufacturer Biral has launched its BTD-200 self-contained lightning warning system to help businesses protect their workers against lightning strikes.
Statistics show that between 30 and 60 people are struck by lightning each year in the UK and on average, three (5-10%) of these strikes are fatal. Because of this, workplaces have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their workers under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, so if staff are working outdoors in exposed areas, a lightning safety plan should be in place.
The only reliable and consistent way of issuing a lightning warning is with a dedicated lightning detection system. Approximately 90% of thunderstorms are already producing lightning by the time they are within 12 miles (20km) of an airport or business, so a professional, real-time lightning warning system should provide adequate notice of an approaching storm. However, in the case of the remaining 10%, the first flash will occur nearby or overhead – which is the most dangerous. Therefore, it is important not to rely on systems that only detect lightning as it occurs, as these cannot provide any advanced warning of the threat of overhead lightning and its implicit danger.
The innovative BTD-200 lightning warning system from Biral is able to do both. It detects distant lightning up to 22 miles away, as well as warning about a developing strong electric field overhead, even if there is no lightning being produced.
The Lightning Works software will then alert the staff and managers to these threats in real time, allowing them to review and manage the situation and to alert staff to the potential danger. It can also activate warning sounders automatically if required.
The BTD-200 lightning warning system represents the next generation of lightning detection and warning systems and has evolved from proven technology currently used by airports and national meteorological organizations globally.