Lightningman ThunderBolt 2 with Intelicharge

Nationally, 6 to 10 people die annually, with 100s more injured through lightning injury. It is reported that around 80 instances of Lightning injury relates to the use of fixed telephone systems during thunderstorms.

Under Section 19(1)(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have a duty of care to ensure, as far as practicable, that employees are not exposed to hazards at the workplace.

Three basic steps should be taken to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

They are based on the concept that the workplace should be modified to suit people, not vice versa. The three steps are:

  • Identifying the hazards – involves recognising things which may cause injury or harm to the health of a person, for instance potential exposure to harm, flammable materials, ignition sources, unguarded machinery, and even Lightning;
  • Assessing the risk – involves looking at the possibility of injury or harm occurring to a person if exposed to the hazard;
  • Controlling the risk – by introducing measures which will eliminate or reduce the risk of a person being exposed to a hazard.

It is important to regularly review these steps, especially if there are changes in the work environment, where new technology is introduced, or where standards are changed.
In recent years there have been a number of significant incidents in Australia, relating to the dangers of personnel working during localised thunderstorm activity.
These incidents have affected Mining Operators, Sporting organizations, Electrical Utilities, Vineyard workers, Construction Workers, Schoolchildren, and office workers using telephones.
Australian Standard AS1768-2003 “Lightning Protection” recommends the use of Lightning detection devices to provide guidance as to when conditions are becoming unsafe for workplace and recreational activities.

ThunderBolt 2 with Intelicharge uses a proprietary technology to detect and determine the distance to severe weather, which is virtually always indicated by lightning activity. Through the application of advanced electronics and proprietary software, its high sensitivity, single-channel receiver detects electro-magnetic field emissions from lightning activity within a storm cell. Thunderbolt 2 then converts this data into digital signals and feeds them to its microprocessor for analysis. In addition to identifying the waveforms characteristic of storm activity, Thunderbolt 2 performs continuous analysis of background electromagnetic interference (EMI) at the user location. This function is critical for minimizing false-triggering from non-storm noise sources, and maintaining accuracy of storm data. A computer analyzes the detected energy levels on the frequencies observed, and then calculates the real distance in kilometres to the detected storm activity. In a fraction of a second, the Thunderbolt 2 displays warning information on its LCD display including:
The distance to storm activity, Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) measured from the users location Storm intensity information. Just as important as ETA, is the ETC “Estimated Time to Clear” information which is monitored continuously with 15 second data updates. Flashing LEDs and an audible alarm provide warning. ThunderBolt 2’s LCD continuously displays the time until the storm clears the area for safe resumption of work or activity, with the least downtime and maximum productivity. ThunderBolt 2™ detects, identifies and tracks storm activity sufficiently intense to generate lightning within 100 kilometres of the users location. Thunderbolt 2 operates in excess of 75 hours on a single 9-volt battery that can be charged at any 220VAC power outlet. A 220 VAC low-noise charger and a hard carrying case are also included in the standard ThunderBolt 2 package. Additional accessories such as a DC charger, desk stand or multi-purpose wall mount for permanent installation can also added.

The Thunderbolt is ideal for:

_ Drill and Blast crews

_ Surveyors

_ Environmental Scientists and Technicians

_ Geologists

_ Heavy equipment operators

_ Electrical workers and Linesmen

_ Sports and recreation clubs

_ Boating enthusiasts

_ Camping and outdoor activities

The standard package includes Main Unit, Hard Carry Case, AC Charger & Battery DC Charger, Belt Pouch, Wall Mount & Desk Mount are optional extras


Hand held detectors such as the Thunderbolt 2 detect the unique radio frequency signatures associated with already active lightning.

Such devices CANNOT predict a first strike, or monitor any of the measurable conditions leading up to a first strike.

Those who may look to use the benefits of hand held detection technology, must do so knowing that the devices have these limitations, and in every instance when the detector alerts, that certain safety procedures must be immediately enacted, such as communicating the lightning warning to those who may be at risk, and direct those at risk immediately find a safe area, until such time as threat has seen to have passed.

The use of Lightning detection equipment should be used in conjunction with the 30 /30 rule ( refer The 30/30 Rule )

It is recommended that the use of any Lightning Warning or detection systems be used strictly under a Lightning safety policy which describes the known safe locations where persons should wait out the threat, and highlights those unsafe locations where persons should seek to avoid.

Further safety information can be found at safety_procedures.