After an Earthquake

Earthquakes can happen at any time and have the potential to damage homes, schools, bridges, and buildings. They can disrupt vital gas, electric, and phone service and even trigger landslides and fires. As workers undergo efforts to restore services and bring normal life back to communities, how can they stay safe from hazards like downed wires, unstable structures, extreme weather conditions?

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) provides these guidelines:

  • Only trained personnel should be involved in demolition, confined space, and search & rescue operations
  • Monitor local radio and television stations for updated emergency information
  • Turn off electricity in flooded buildings
  • Be aware of possible structural, electrical, and gas leak hazards and report them to proper authorities and/or utilities
  • Do not touch downed overhead lines or objects in contact with down lines
  • Use proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including boots, gloves, coveralls, hard hats, and respirators
  • Don’t attempt to remove heavy debris on your own
  • Watch for wildlife that may have taken refuge inside buildings
  • Use caution in extreme heat or cold by taking breaks, dressing appropriately, and staying hydrated
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