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Blog - hazard assessment

DIY Seismic restraints for business?

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DIY seismic restraints could prove costly to your business!

Earthquakes are recognised by WorkSafe NZ as a workplace hazard. The new Health and Safety at Work Act places significant personal liability on company directors and board members who fail to eliminate or minimise workplace hazards.

What should be restrained?

Seismic restraint for building contents is governed by NZS - 4104 standards. General considerations for seismic restraint of building contents include proximity to exit routes and doorways, height and weight of objects, proximity to glass, frequently occupied areas and business continuity.

Critical success factors?

You may want to consider the following before entrusting seismic restraint installation to a handyman, builder or removal company:

  • Do they provide a detailed hazard assessment to help you make an informed decision?
  • Does their assessment include recommendations to eliminate or isolate hazards?
  • Does their proposed work meet NZ Standard - 4014 "Seismic restraint for building contents" ?
  • Do they understand the limitations of various types of restraints?
  • Is the hardware rated for seismic bracing?
  • What quality assurance protocols to they have in place?
  • Do they have a hazard management plan for hazards they introduce into your workplace?
  • Do they have public liability insurance to cover accidental damage to your property?
  • Are they members of any professional organisations?
  • Do they provide documentation to help you demonstrate due diligence for HSWA purposes?
  • Who owns the liability under HSWA if a substandard installation causes death or injury?

The cost of failure

When the cost of failure could be measured in lives, is el-cheapo really the way to go?  

Corporate office builders botch job - disaster waiting to happen for a 600 kg book shelf