In Chile: birth of the global seismic risk assessment programme

It is essential to ensure maximal security for all the Group's employees worldwide. To do so, L’Oréal now possesses seismic risk evaluation systems in the areas its head offices are located, such as Chile.

In February 2010, L’Oréal’s national head office in Santiago was badly damaged by an earthquake. Following this event, the Group decided to launch an innovative and ambitious seismic risk assessment programme. Its purpose is to maximise the safety of the company’s staff. ‘It was a case of auditing all the buildings which we occupied within risk zones in order to ensure that they did not display any vulnerability to seismic activity that might cause the physical safety of occupants to be compromised’, explains Frank Privé, Group Property Director. To support it with this initiative, L’Oréal chose Bureau Veritas. ‘It’s a firm with global stature and recognised competence that has developed special assessment technology whereby the building’s resonance is measured using sensors, thus permitting the profiling of its behaviour in the face of a seismic event’, underlines Jean-Michel Duffieux, Projects Director – Property. Bureau Veritas proceeded by developing a world map of the areas most exposed to seismic risk: 110 buildings identified as being in risk zones were analysed and, in the 35% of those deemed vulnerable, action plans have been or will be deployed in order to control the risk. Various measures are being implemented, ranging from the training of staff to relocation to new premises, but also the introduction of confinement procedures, the completion of interior refits and the performance of structural consolidation work. But the programme won’t end there: L’Oréal has decided to systematically apply it to all new sites within zones identified as presenting a seismic risk.