Lightning protection at onshore hazardous installations


This document provides guidance on the expected standard for lightning protection at hazardous installations.


A lightning strike at a major hazard installation can be an initiating event for a major accident.

Lightning protection concepts, such as equipotential bonding and earthing of metallic structures, are often inherent in the design of process plant. The likelihood of a major accident being initiated by a lightning strike at a well designed and maintained hazardous installation is, therefore, low so Inspectors must act proportionately to focus on those major hazard installations where reasonably foreseeable risk remains.


Inspectors should:

  • use the high level process described in Figure 1 of Appendix 1 and the accompanying notes to verify, or otherwise, that relevant good practice has been applied;
  • refer Duty Holders to the high level process described in Figure 1 of Appendix 1 and the accompanying notes so that recognised engineered measures can be applied to relevant structures before assessment of risk from first principles is considered.


For the purpose of the Enforcement Management Model, this guidance is an interpretative standard

Relevant good practice is provided by the BS EN 62305 series of standards, Protection against lightning. It provides a process for analysing risk and provides information for the design, installation, inspection, maintenance and testing of Lightning Protection Systems and Surge Suppression Measures. In parts, it is a technical standard that addresses a wide range of harm. It can result in a complex assessment of risk, however, established engineered measures exist that, if applied, may obviate the need for such an assessment.



Onshore major hazard installations.




To be used by HID EC&I Specialist Inspectors during established intervention processes.

Recording & Reporting

No special requirements.

Health & Safety

No special requirements.


No special requirements.

Further References

Relevant Acts and Regulations

  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (as amended)
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (as amended)
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)
  • The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002

Relevant Good Practice

  • BS EN 62305 Parts 1-4 – Protection against lightning
  • BS EN 60079-14 - Explosive atmospheres - Part 14: Electrical installations design, selection and erection
  • BS 7671 - Requirements for electrical installations
  • CBI Explosives Industry Group - Guidance For Electrical Installation And Equipment Within Explosives Manufacturing And Storage Facilities Including Fireworks
  • HSG 51 - The storage of flammable liquids in containers
  • BS 6651- Code of practice for protection of structures against lightning (withdrawn)
  • BS 5345 - Code of practice for Selection, installation and maintenance of electrical apparatus for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (other than mining applications or explosives processing and manufacture) (withdrawn)


HID Chemicals, Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division 2E Electrical, Control and Instrumentation Team


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Updated 2020-12-15