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A Guide to Compiling a Comprehensive Fall Protection Plan in South Africa or just Save Time and Effort and Download Our Pre-Set Fall Protection Plan Templates

WHY DO I NEED A FALL PROTECTION PLAN?

A fall protection plan is necessary to protect workers who are at risk of falling from heights while performing their job duties. Falls from heights can result in serious injuries and fatalities, making it critical for employers to provide a safe working environment and take measures to prevent falls.

A fall protection plan helps to identify potential fall hazards, evaluate the risks associated with these hazards, and implement appropriate control measures to prevent falls. It also provides guidelines on the proper use and maintenance of fall protection equipment, as well as training for employees on how to use the equipment and work safely at heights.

By having a fall protection plan in place, employers can demonstrate their commitment to the safety and well-being of their employees. It can also help to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, prevent lost work time, and avoid legal and financial penalties that may result from non-compliance with safety regulations.

In summary, a fall protection plan is necessary to ensure the safety of workers who are at risk of falling from heights and to comply with occupational health and safety regulations.

ACCORDING TO THE OHS ACT SOUTH AFRICA AND CONSTRUCTION REGULATION

Employers are required to ensure that their employees are protected from falls from any height, regardless of the nature of work. This includes providing protective equipment, such as harnesses, lifelines, and anchorage points, and training on how to use them. The employer must also conduct a risk assessment to identify potential hazards that may cause falls and take necessary measures to eliminate or minimize these hazards.

RESCUE PLAN EXPLANATION

A rescue plan is required in situations where a worker may be exposed to a risk of falling, such as working at heights or in confined spaces. The rescue plan should include the following:

  1. Identification of the person responsible for coordinating the rescue
  2. Procedures for carrying out the rescue
  3. Description of the equipment and tools necessary for the rescue
  4. Training and drills for rescue personnel
  5. Communication procedures during a rescue

    The rescue plan must also be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary to ensure it is effective and up-to-date.

    HOW DO I COMPILE A FALL PROTECTION PLAN?

    Compiling a fall protection plan involves several steps to ensure that the plan is effective in preventing falls and protecting workers who are working at heights. Here are some general steps to follow when compiling a fall protection plan:

    1. Conduct a risk assessment: A risk assessment should be conducted to identify potential fall hazards in the workplace. This should include an inspection of the worksite and a review of job tasks to identify any areas where workers may be at risk of falling.
    2. Develop control measures: Based on the results of the risk assessment, appropriate control measures should be identified and implemented to prevent falls. This may include the use of guardrails, safety nets, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other safety devices.
    3. Establish procedures for using equipment: Procedures should be established for the proper use of fall protection equipment, including PPE, ladders, scaffolding, and other devices. This should include instructions for inspection, maintenance, and proper use of equipment.
    4. Provide training: Workers should be trained on the hazards associated with working at heights, the proper use of fall protection equipment, and emergency procedures in case of a fall.
    5. Develop a rescue plan: A rescue plan should be developed to ensure that workers can be safely rescued in the event of a fall. This should include procedures for contacting emergency services, identifying rescue personnel, and providing rescue equipment and training.
    6. Review and update the plan regularly: The fall protection plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains effective in preventing falls and protecting workers.

    In summary, compiling a fall protection plan involves identifying potential hazards, implementing control measures, establishing procedures for using equipment, providing training, developing a rescue plan, and regularly reviewing and updating the plan. It is important to ensure that the plan is tailored to the specific needs of the workplace and that all workers are trained on its contents.

    TO WHAT STANDARDS SHOULD, MY FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT MEET. SOUTH AFRICAN LEGISLATION AND CONSTRUCTION REGULATION

    In South Africa, fall protection equipment must meet the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Construction Regulations of 2014.

    The OHSA states that all equipment used for fall protection must be suitable for the purpose for which it is intended, be properly maintained, and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The equipment must also meet the relevant South African National Standards (SANS) or other applicable international standards.

    The Construction Regulations of 2014 further provide guidance on the selection, use, and maintenance of fall protection equipment. The regulations require that all equipment used for fall protection must comply with the following standards:

    • SANS 50361: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Full body harnesses
    • SANS 50354: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Energy absorbers
    • SANS 50355: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Lanyards
    • SANS 50356: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Connectors
    • SANS 50357: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Anchor devices

    The regulations also require that all equipment must be inspected and tested before use to ensure that it is in good working condition and that it must be inspected regularly by a competent person.

    In summary, fall protection equipment used in South Africa must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Construction Regulations of 2014. This includes meeting the relevant SANS standards and being properly maintained and inspected before use. Employers should ensure that all employees are trained on the proper use and maintenance of fall protection equipment to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace.

    EQUIPMENTSANS CODE
    FULL BODY HARNESSSANS 50361
    FULL BODY HARNESSSANS 50358
    FULL BODY HARNESSSANS 50813
    SHOCK ABSORBER LANYARDSANS 50355
    WORK POSITIONING LANYARDSANS 50358
    WORK POSITIONING LANYARDSANS 50362
    WORK POSITIONING LANYARDSANS 50354
    CONNECTORS FOR HARNESSSANS 50362
    ATTACHMENT STRAPSSANS 50566
    LADDERSSANS 50131
    SCAFFOLDINGSANS 10085

    LADDER SAFETY

    empty corridor with ladder and lamps on ceiling

    Ladders are commonly used in workplaces for accessing heights, but they can also pose a significant fall hazard if not used properly.

    Including ladder safety in your fall protection plan can help prevent falls and protect workers who need to use ladders to access heights in the workplace

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    SCAFFOLD SAFETY

    Scaffolds are commonly used in construction and other industries to provide workers with access to heights. However, scaffolds can also pose a significant fall hazard if not used properly.

    Including scaffold safety in your fall protection plan can help prevent falls and protect workers who need to use scaffolds to access heights in the workplace.

    HOW TO INSPECT AND REGISTER EQUIPMENT FOR WORKING AT HEIGHTS?

    Inspecting and registering equipment for working at heights is critical to ensuring worker safety. Here are some steps to inspect and register equipment for working at heights:

    1. Identify the equipment: Identify all equipment used for working at heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, harnesses, lanyards, and anchor points.
    2. Establish an inspection schedule: Determine the frequency of inspections based on manufacturer recommendations, frequency of use, and the nature of the work being performed. For example, equipment used more frequently or in harsher environments may require more frequent inspections.
    3. Conduct inspections: Perform a thorough inspection of each piece of equipment before each use. Follow manufacturer recommendations and use a checklist to ensure that all components are in good working condition, such as straps, buckles, ropes, and hooks.
    4. Address any issues: If any issues are identified during the inspection, remove the equipment from service immediately and have it repaired or replaced. Do not use equipment that is damaged or defective.
    5. Keep records: Keep records of all inspections, including the date of the inspection, the equipment inspected, and any issues identified and resolved. This information will be useful for identifying trends and making adjustments to the inspection schedule or equipment used.
    6. Register equipment: Register all equipment used for working at heights with the appropriate regulatory bodies. In South Africa, equipment such as scaffolds must be registered with the Department of Labour and the Occupational Health and Safety Act must be adhered to.

    By following these steps, you can help ensure that equipment used for working at heights is in good working condition and safe for workers to use.

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    WHEN TO INSPECT LADDERS?

    Ladders should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe to use. Here are some guidelines on when to inspect ladders:

    • Before each use: Ladders should be inspected before each use to ensure that they are in good working condition. Check for any damage, such as cracks, bends, or missing parts, and make sure all the components are in place, including the rungs, spreaders, and feet.
    • Monthly: Inspect ladders at least once a month, even if they have not been used, to check for any damage or wear and tear that may have occurred during storage or transportation.
    • After exposure to extreme conditions: Ladders that have been exposed to extreme conditions, such as high winds or excessive heat, should be inspected for damage.
    • After an incident: Ladders that have been involved in an incident, such as a fall or impact, should be thoroughly inspected for damage before being used again.
    • When purchasing or renting: Inspect ladders before purchasing or renting them to ensure that they are in good working condition.

    By inspecting ladders regularly, you can identify any issues that may pose a risk to workers and ensure that ladders are safe to use.

    WHEN TO INSPECT SCAFFOLDS?

    Scaffolds should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe to use. Here are some guidelines on when to inspect scaffolds:

    • Before each use: Scaffolds should be inspected before each use to ensure that they are in good working condition. Check for any damage, such as cracks, bends, or missing parts, and make sure all the components are in place, including the platforms, guardrails, and base plates.
    • After assembly: After the scaffold has been erected, it should be inspected to ensure that it has been assembled correctly and that all components are in place.
    • After exposure to extreme conditions: Scaffolds that have been exposed to extreme conditions, such as high winds or excessive heat, should be inspected for damage.
    • After an incident: Scaffolds that have been involved in an incident, such as a fall or impact, should be thoroughly inspected for damage before being used again.
    • When there are changes: If any changes are made to the scaffold, such as adding or removing components, it should be inspected to ensure that it remains safe to use.
    • Every 30 days: Scaffolds should be inspected by a competent person at least once every 30 days, or after any event that may affect the safety of the scaffold.

    By inspecting scaffolds regularly, you can identify any issues that may pose a risk to workers and ensure that scaffolds are safe to use. It is important to follow the guidelines set out by regulatory bodies and manufacturers when inspecting scaffolds.

    WHEN TO INSPECT SAFETY HARNESS?

    Safety harnesses should be inspected regularly to ensure that they are safe to use. Here are some guidelines on when to inspect safety harnesses:

    1. Before each use: Safety harnesses should be inspected before each use to ensure that they are in good working condition. Check for any damage, such as cuts, fraying, or tears, and make sure all the components are in place, including the straps, buckles, and D-rings.
    2. After exposure to extreme conditions: Safety harnesses that have been exposed to extreme conditions, such as high winds or excessive heat, should be inspected for damage.
    3. After an incident: Safety harnesses that have been involved in an incident, such as a fall or impact, should be thoroughly inspected for damage before being used again.
    4. When there are changes: If any changes are made to the safety harness, such as adding or removing components, it should be inspected to ensure that it remains safe to use.
    5. Every 12 months: Safety harnesses should be inspected by a competent person at least once every 12 months, or more frequently if recommended by the manufacturer or regulatory body.
    6. When nearing the end of their useful life: Safety harnesses should be inspected more frequently as they near the end of their useful life. The useful life of a safety harness is typically five years from the date of manufacture, but it may be shorter depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations and the conditions of use.

    By inspecting safety harnesses regularly, you can identify any issues that may pose a risk to workers and ensure that safety harnesses are safe to use. It is important to follow the guidelines set out by regulatory bodies and manufacturers when inspecting safety harnesses.

    WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT APPOINTMENT LETTER FOR PERSONS WHO WILL WORK AT HEIGHTS?

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    When it comes to working at height, it is important to appoint responsible persons to ensure that safety measures are put in place and that workers are protected from falls. Here are some examples of the types of responsible persons that may need to be appointed:

    • Employer: The employer has a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of employees and other persons who may be affected by their work, including those who work at height. They should appoint a competent person or team to manage the safety of work at height.
    • Competent person: A competent person is someone who has the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to manage the safety of work at height. They should be appointed to oversee and manage the safety of work at height, including the selection and inspection of equipment, the training of workers, and the implementation of safety procedures.
    • Supervisor: A supervisor is responsible for overseeing the work of employees and ensuring that work is carried out safely. They should be appointed to supervise work at height and ensure that safety procedures are followed.
    • Worker: Workers who work at height also have a responsibility to work safely and follow safety procedures. They should be trained in the safe use of equipment and procedures, and should report any safety concerns or issues to their supervisor or competent person.

    By appointing responsible persons for working at height, you can ensure that safety measures are in place and that workers are protected from falls. It is important to follow the guidelines set out by regulatory bodies and manufacturers when appointing responsible persons for working at height.

    WHY SHOULD I USE A WORKING AT HEIGHT PERMIT?

    Identifies hazards: The process of obtaining a working at height permit involves identifying and assessing the potential hazards associated with working at height. This helps to ensure that appropriate controls are put in place to mitigate these risks.

    Outlines safety procedures: A working at height permit outlines the specific safety procedures and precautions that must be followed when performing tasks at height. This helps to ensure that everyone involved in the work is aware of the hazards and knows how to work safely.

    Helps to prevent accidents: By identifying hazards and outlining safety procedures, a working at height permit helps to prevent accidents and injuries related to working at height.

    Provides documentation: The working at height permit provides documentation that the necessary safety precautions have been taken and that the work has been authorized. This can be important in the event of an accident or inspection.

    FREQUENT ASK QUESTIONS

    What is fall protection according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993?

    Fall protection refers to the measures taken to prevent falls from heights or to mitigate the impact of falls when they occur, as required by Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993. This can include personal protective equipment (PPE), such as harnesses and lanyards, as well as engineering controls, such as guardrails and safety nets.

    What is working at heights according to the Construction Regulations 2014?

    Working at heights according to the Construction Regulations 2014 refers to any task that is performed above ground level, such as on roofs, scaffolding, ladders, or elevated work platforms. Workers who perform tasks at heights face a higher risk of falls, which is why fall protection measures are necessary.

    What is fall prevention according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993?

    Fall prevention refers to the measures taken to eliminate or reduce the risk of falls from heights, as required by Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993. This can include identifying and controlling hazards, providing training and supervision to workers, and implementing engineering controls to prevent falls.

    What is fall rescue according to the Construction Regulations 2014?

    Fall rescue according to the Construction Regulations 2014 refers to the process of rescuing a worker who has fallen from a height and is suspended in mid-air or on a lower level. Fall rescue requires specialized equipment and training, and should only be attempted by trained rescue personnel.

    What is a fall protection plan according to the Construction Regulations 2014?

    A fall protection plan according to the Construction Regulations 2014 is a written document that outlines the procedures and equipment that will be used to prevent falls from heights. A fall protection plan should be developed by a competent person and should be specific to the particular work site and tasks being performed.

    What is a fall protection system according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993?

    A fall protection system according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993 is the combination of equipment and procedures used to prevent falls from heights. A fall protection system can include personal protective equipment, such as harnesses and lanyards, as well as engineering controls, such as guardrails and safety nets.

    Who is responsible for fall protection according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993?

    Employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment for their employees, which includes implementing fall protection measures when necessary, as required by Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993. Workers also have a responsibility to follow safety rules and use fall protection equipment properly.

    What is the South African legislation for fall protection?

    The South African legislation for fall protection includes the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993, as well as the Construction Regulations 2014. These regulations outline the requirements for fall protection in various industries, including the use of guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.

    What is the maximum height that requires fall protection according to the Construction Regulations 2014?

    The maximum height that requires fall protection according to the Construction Regulations 2014 varies depending on the type of work being performed and the specific hazards present. In general, fall protection is required when you are exposed to a fall risk position according to Construction Regulations 2014 , working at heights protection for two meters or more were specified in the old Construction Regulations but according to the new Construction Regulations 2014 any fall risk position need a fall protection plan.

    How often should fall protection equipment be inspected according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993?

    Fall protection equipment should be inspected before each use and at least once a year, as required by Section 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993. Inspections should be conducted by a competent person and should include a visual inspection of all components, as well as testing of any mechanical or electrical devices. Any defects or damage should be immediately addressed and the equipment should be taken out of service if necessary.

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