Did SA's 5.3 earthquake make you realise how unsafe your workplace is?
At around 12:30pm today (5th August 2014) an earthquake, scoring 5.3 on the Richter scale, shook most of Gauteng and even stretched to Welkom and Kimberly.
Here in our office, in Northriding, we felt the earthquake badly and it gave most of us a good scare. When your office building starts shaking violently, it's enough to scare anyone.
But the scariest part is not knowing if your building can survive a good shaking or if it's going to crumble with your employees still in it.
If the earthquake sparked the same fear in you, here's what you should do...
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Is your construction site compliant with all of the newly amended construction regulations?
When the DoL comes to inspect every last detail of your site, will you be confident that everything from your scaffolding to your Health and Safety file is compliant with ALL 26 of it's regulations?
Now you can be!
Here's how to ensure your building will withstand an earthquake
Here in South Africa, earthquakes don't happen often, but since this is the second one in a year (the previous one was in November 2013 and scored 4 on the Richter scale) it may be time to do something.
Even if earthquakes don't become a common problem in SA, you still need to ensure your building can survive one just in case.
To ensure it does, do this:
Do an assessment of the structural integrity on your building at least once a year. This can uncover issues such as shifting foundation and cracking structural supports. These are things that'll make your building susceptible to the destruction of earthquakes.
Fix any problem in your structure A.S.A.P. Even a slight crack in wall can become a weak point in the building. If an even bigger earthquake strikes that small crack could lead to the whole wall collapsing!
Ensure you have easy exit points or a safe area where your employees can get to fast if a serious quake threatens the stability of your office building.
It's also a good idea to give your employees training on what to do and where to go is this earthquake trend continues. This way, even if building collapses for other reasons like the Tongaat Mall
did, your employees will know what to do.