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Ask a Specialist – Is Your Workplace Evacuation Ready?

Published May 09, 2017 (last updated June 10, 2022) - Head of Health and Safety

Earthquakes are part and parcel of life and business in New Zealand, so it is essential that employers develop and implement an earthquake action plan, and communicate this with staff so that if disaster strikes, employees know exactly what to do.

Here is a simple checklist of actions from Worksafe NZ’s website.

During the earthquake

  1. Keep calm
  2. Stay indoors where practical
  3. Keep away from windows and heavy furniture
  4. Take cover – use a doorway or get under a strong table or other sturdy structure

After the earthquake, if the building is damaged

  1. Turn off water, electricity and gas at main
  2. Conserve your water
  3. Treat injuries
  4. Get in touch with neighbours and the businesses around you
  5. Where help is needed go to your nearest civil defence post
  6. Advise your manager of damage sustained

Print and post these around the office and make sure that every employee is familiar with the action steps.

Crucial contacts

Employers must also be ready with the contact numbers and information at hand when needed. Complete this list from Worksafe NZ and again post around the office to be ready.

  1. Your civil defence warning signal
  2. Your nearest civil defence post
  3. Your nearest police station
  4. Your local radio station frequency
  5. Your civil defence cabinet / kit

As always, we are on hand to help you with any questions. If you require advice regarding health and safety obligations and procedures, contact an Employsure specialist on 0800 568 012.

Also, make sure that you have some way of tracking who is your office at any time, staff and visitors, so that you can easily check on the safety of everyone on the premises.

If you have a question that you would like an Employsure specialist to answer in next month’s newsletter, please send it to [email protected].

About Employsure

Employsure is one of New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisers to small and medium businesses, with over 5,000 clients. We take the complexity out of workplace legislation to help small business employers protect their business and their people.

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