Earthquakes toolbox talk

A simple, 5 minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on Earthquakes.

Earthquakes occur daily around the world and certain areas are more prone to earthquakes than others. Earthquakes range in severity, from being barely noticeable to being a natural disaster. If your workplace is in an earthquake prone area it is important that your workers know how to stay safe during and after an earthquake, to prevent injuries.

Why run an Earthquakes Toolbox Talk?

  • You know what to do when an earthquake happens
  • Make the workplace safer to reduce risk of injury
  • What to do after an earthquake

How To Prepare for An Earthquake

  • Properly secure large machines so they don’t fall over
  • Heavy items should be stored at lower heights
  • Bookshelves, storage shelving, cabinets and cupboards should be secured to walls
  • Keep all exits and corridors clear at all times
  • Keep the spaces under tables and desks, clear
  • Have emergency supplies for your workers: water, food, thermal blankets, first aid kits, torches, whistles, glowsticks and heavy duty work gloves
  • Check whether the fire alarms and sprinklers are working, by testing them periodically
  • Fire extinguishers should be charged and inspected yearly

What To Do During an Earthquake 

  • DROP – to your hands and knees
  • COVER – your head and neck. If possible, get under a nearby table or desk, or next to an interior wall away from windows.
  • HOLD ON – hold the table or desk with one hand until the shaking stops.

For those outside

  • DROP to the ground straight away
  • CRAWL a short distance to a clear area – no power lines, trees, street signs or other fall hazards

For workers using mobility aids

  • LOCK – your mobility aid and sit in wheelchair, mobility scooter or seating pad
  • COVER – lean forward and cover your head
  • HOLD ON -  stay sat until shaking stops 

What To Do After an Earthquake

  • Check for tsunami alarms and if it was LONG and STRONG. Check if you are near the sea and if you are in a low-lying area near the sea, move to higher ground. 
  • Check yourself and others for injuries
  • Be prepared for aftershocks
  • If you smell gas, turn it off
  • Only use the phone for emergencies, to prevent communication systems being overloaded
  • Inspect the area around you and make sure it is safe
  • Clean up any flammable liquids immediately

Key takeaways:

  • Be prepared for an earthquake
  • Drop, Cover, Hold On or Lock
  • Be prepared for aftershocks and potential tsunami
  • Check yourself and others for injuries, once the shaking has stopped
  • Check whether the area is safe, once the shaking has stopped

Contact us

  • US  512 846-3011
  • AU  02 5104 6116
  • NZ  09 886 3309
  • EU  +44 20 7193 9657

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