WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY ABOUT WORKING AT HEIGHTS IN SOUTH AFRICA?
Working at heights safety is addressed mainly in the Regulations sections of the OHSA 85 of 1993.
General Safety Regulation 6 – Work in Elevated Position (GSR6): “ No employer shall require or permit any person to work in an elevated position, and no person shall work in an elevated position, unless such work is performed safely from a ladder or scaffolding, or from a position where such person has been made as safe as if he were working from scaffolding”.
Regulation 8 of the Construction Regulations (CR 8):
Differentiates between Fall Protection and Fall Arrest.
Fall prevention is preventing the fall by erecting barricades etc. Fall Arrest is arresting the fall once the fall has already occurred , example using a double lanyard. The employer has to ensure that, fall prevention and fall arrest equipment is in place.
Fall Protection Planning in South Africa
Regulation 8 talks about an employer needing to designate a competent person as responsible person for the preparation of a Fall Protection Plan. A competent person needs to be trained by an Accredited Training Provider.
The Fall Protection Plan must include the following:
1. Specific hazard Identification for the relevant site
2. A Risk Assessment with a Method Statement and Mitigations.
3. Safe work procedures.
4. Using the 5 W method of Who, When, Why, What, Wher
5. A Rescue Plan must be put in place as to how to rescue a fallen employee.
6. An Emergency Evacuation Plan for the site must be put in place.
7. How medical testing will take place for working at heights
Medical Fitness Testing is required for Working At Heights:
No person may work at heights if they suffer from any of the below conditions as this could result in a serious fall. A basic medical needs to include a valid Disclosure Questionnaire that addresses the following:
1. Hypertension/High Blood pressure,
4. Heart Diseases,
5. Fear of Heights