We compile citations and summaries of about 400 new articles every week.
Email Signup | RSS Feed

HELP: Tutorials | FAQ
CONTACT US: Contact info

Search Results

Journal Article


Elsom DM. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2018; 31: 341-353.


(Copyright © 2018, Elsevier Publishing)






Decadal average lightning fatality rates in the United Kingdom have decreased markedly from 1.09 deaths per million population per year (M−1 yr−1) in the 1850s to 0.02 M−1 yr−1 by the 2010s. Factors contributing to the decrease are explored. They include a large reduction in the national workforce engaged in manually-intensive agriculture. Consequently, agricultural workforce deaths fell from 38% of all lightning deaths around 1850-9% by 2000. The percentage of the national population living in urban areas, where many jobs were indoors, increased. As buildings were modernised with electric and plumbing circuits they offered greater protection from lightning. Consequently, deaths indoors fell from 39% in 1850 to 11% in 1950, and with none in the past 50 years. Other factors contributing to lower fatality rates in recent decades included improved thunderstorm forecasts, lightning location detection systems, stricter safety regulations for outdoor workers, advances in the medical treatment of lightning casualties, better communication and road networks to request and receive medical help promptly, and greater public awareness of the lightning threat. Factors slowing down the fatality rate decrease include population growth and, in recent decades, the increased participation in outdoor leisure and sports pursuits in exposed locations. Fatality rates in other countries are explored. It is suggested that by recognising the influence each factor has on lightning fatality rates, countries currently experiencing high lightning fatality rates may be able to accelerate and enhance the beneficial impacts of some factors, albeit after adjustments to reflect their national social, economic and cultural characteristics.

Language: en


Annual lightning fatality rates, Weather hazard; Lightning risk


All SafetyLit records are available for automatic download to Zotero & Mendeley