3 Dangerous Overhead Earthquake Safety Risks In The Workplace

When an earthquake strikes, even the most harmless objects can become dangerous.

From wall units and hanging lights, to speaker systems and partition walls - most objects can cause damage when subjected to unusual forces.

But it's the hazards lurking above your head that you need to watch our for most. These overhead objects can cause severe injuries if they were to land on someone...

And if you're a business or building owner, it's important you take steps to minimise these hazards and invest in earthquake preparedness.

On that note, here are 3 earthquake hazards that are probably sitting above your head right now!


1. Suspended Ceilings

Let's kick things off with the most obvious thing sitting above your head...

The ceiling!

But not just any ceiling...

In this case we're talking about "suspended ceilings."

Although suspended ceiling tiles are usually light and brittle - the frames that hold them are made from steel and have the potential to cause lethal damage.

To keep your building safe, suspended ceilings should be properly braced and seismically retrofitted to meet new building earthquake preparedness standards.

You can check their security yourself by carefully removing a tile and looking above.
Once you're there, make sure the ceiling frames are braced with flexible wire to secure overhead structures.

Another thing... it's also likely suspended ceilings installed pre 2013 are unrestrained, and if that's the case with yours, it should be checked ASAP.


2. Air Conditioning Units, Grills And Ducting

Because they're usually hidden away in the ceiling, people are mostly blind to the large air con systems perched above them.

Weighing between 30 and 100 kg's - these fixtures have the potential to cause major damage and physical harm.

Air con units/grills should be independently restrained, and should not be allowed to drop more than 100mm.

They should also NEVER be fitted to a suspended ceiling.

As well as this, rigid ducting (where the hanger length exceeds 200 mm), and flexible ducting (over 1.5 m) should be restrained against seismic forces.


3. Sprinkler Systems / Pipes

Finally, during an earthquake burst sprinkler pipes can flood your building and cause huge water damage. The share weight and density of these pipes can also be incredibly dangerous if they were to fall on someone below.

Your sprinkler systems should be seismically restrained at the connection points, connections to equipment, and where free swaying of the pipe may damage other building damage elements.


Is The Inside Of Your Building Earthquake Safe?

Download Our FREE Falling Objects Checklist

Although we've covered 3 incredibly dangerous hazards you'll find in most workplaces - there's a lot more you need to be aware of.

As we touched on earlier, even the most harmless objects can become dangerous when an earthquake strikes.

That's why we've created this checklist which covers all the major hazards you need to be looking out for in your office or building.

The checklist also tells you:

  • Which objects you should restrain in order to meet building standards.
  • How to check these potential hazards yourself.
  • Why certain objects need to be restrained more than others.
  • The steps that should be taken to seismically restrain potential dangers, make your building or business fully earthquake prepared and keep your people safe!

"Around 70 - 80% of the total repair cost after an earthquake is usually due to the damage of internal and nonstructural elements."
Jeremy Baker  - General Manager, Quake Protected.

We can help you identify and secure your work place from potential hazards during an earthquake. Call us now: 0800 537 369 

Or SEND US A MESSAGE

Suspended Ceilings

Let's kick things off with the most obvious thing sitting above your head...

The ceiling!

But not just any ceiling...

In this case we're talking about "suspended ceilings."

Although suspended ceiling tiles are usually light and brittle - the frames that hold them are made from steel and have the potential to cause lethal damage.

To keep your building safe, suspended ceilings should be properly braced and seismically retrofitted to meet new building earthquake preparedness standards.

You can check their security yourself by carefully removing a tile and looking above.
Once you're there, make sure the ceiling frames are braced with flexible wire to secure overhead structures.
Another thing... it's also likely suspended ceilings installed pre 2013 are unrestrained, and if that's the case with yours, it should be checked ASAP.

Air Conditioning Units, Grills And Ducting

Because they're usually hidden away in the ceiling, people are mostly blind to the large air con systems perched above them.

Weighing between 30 and 100 kg's - these fixtures have the potential to cause major damage and physical harm.

Air con units/grills should be independently restrained, and should not be allowed to drop more than 100mm.

They should also NEVER be fitted to a suspended ceiling.

As well as this, rigid ducting (where the hanger length exceeds 200 mm), and flexible ducting (over 1.5 m) should be restrained against seismic forces.

Sprinkler Systems / Pipes

Finally, during an earthquake burst sprinkler pipes can flood your building and cause huge water damage. The share weight and density of these pipes can also be incredibly dangerous if they were to fall on someone below.

Your sprinkler systems should be seismically restrained at the connection points, connections to equipment, and where free swaying of the pipe may damage other building damage elements.

Are your staff safe and your building earthquake proof in the event of an earthquake?

Download Our FREE Falling Objects Checklist

Although we've covered 3 incredibly dangerous hazards you'll find in most workplaces - there's a lot more you need to be aware of.

As we touched on earlier, even the most harmless objects can become dangerous when an earthquake strikes.

That's why we've created this checklist which covers all the major hazards you need to be looking out for in your office or building.

The checklist also tells you:

Which objects you should restrain in order to meet building standards.
How to check these potential hazards yourself.
Why certain objects need to be restrained more than others.

The steps that should be taken to seismically restrain potential dangers, make your building or business fully earthquake prepared and keep your people safe!

"Around 70 - 80% of the total repair cost after an earthquake is usually due to the damage of internal and nonstructural elements."
Jeremy Baker  - General Manager, Quake Protected.

We can help you identify and secure your work place from potential hazards during an earthquake. Call us now: 0800 537 369