The Recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake and over 29 ground trembling aftershocks recently in the New Zealand city of Christchurch has left extensive damage to many central and outer district buildings.
In amongst the buildings there are ruined facades, disrupted amenities, and many companies crippled with massive stock losses due to the racking collapses. One small mercy for Christchurch business owners is that the recent earthquakes struck in the middle of the night, when workers potentially at threat of being crushed under toppled racks were safely at home.
If such a quake had struck during daylight working hours the story could have been significantly different. Crushed underneath fallen racking, many companies may have been faced with industrial manslaughter for inadequate racking designs for seismic events.
With months before the full extent of damage in Christchurch is known, there are lessons for Australian companies to take away with them. Be ready, be safe is the central idea. Know what your areas seismic risk is, and ensure your warehouse internal and external structures are ready to withstand such an event. Also vital is to have an emergency response and evacuation plan.
The Christchurch did not happen in a known seismic area, making the thought that such an event happen here an illusion of false safety. Earthquakes in Australia do happen. Most days in the Pacific Region there are tremors. No one, despite best efforts in prediction, can tell if the next tremor will be 'the big one' and where the epicentre will be. The last such memorable Earthquake in Australia, the year 1989 in the city of Newcastle, came with no warning, flattening a town and devestating a nation.
Preparedness is the key, seismic forces can be planned for, limiting damage, saving lives, and potentially your business. Reviewing the seismic readyness of your steel storage racking is an important step to being prepared for an Earthquake. Independent Racking Inspections & Audits provides the expertise to assess your racking for seismic readiness and help your company be ready.