Working at Heights

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RoccoKoen
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Jul 2010, 09:05

Working at Heights

Unread post by RoccoKoen » 23 Dec 2010, 12:42

I would like to know if all persons working at heights must be trained in working at heights, or do we only need to train the scaffold erectors and scaffold inspectors. I would also like to know if a scaffold inspector must be present each time a scaffold is build or is a scaffold inspector only needed after a scaffold a build to a certain height.
Where can I find it in the Act or Regulations?

Thanks for the help.

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 24 Dec 2010, 08:30

Hi Rocco

It is addressed by the Construction Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act

CR 8: Fall protection

"fall prevention equipment"

Means equipment used to prevent persons from falling from a fall risk position, including personal equipment, body harness, single belt, lanyards, lifelines or physical equipment such as guardrails, screens, barricades, anchorages or similar equipment

Based on Regulation 1 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA)

"fall arrest equipment"

Means equipment used to arrest the person in a fall , including personal equipment such as body harness, lanyards, deceleration devices, lifelines or similar equipment, but excludes single belts

Based on Regulation 1 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA)

"fall protection plan"

Means a documented plan, which indicates:

(a) all risks relating to working from a fall risk position, considering the nature of work undertaken,
(b) the procedures and methods to be applied in order to eliminate the risk; and
(c) a rescue plan and procedures

Based on Regulation 1 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA)

“fall risk”

Means any potential exposure to falling either from, off or into.

Based on Regulation 1 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA)
"roof apex height"

Means the dimensional height in meters measured from the lowest ground level abutting any part of a building to the highest point of the roof

Based on Regulation 1 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA)

8. Fall protection
1) A contractor shall cause-
a) the designation of a competent person, responsible for the preparation of a fall protection plan;
b) the fall protection plan contemplated in (a) to be implemented, amended where and when necessary and maintained as required;
c) steps to be taken in order to ensure the continued adherence to the fall protection plan.
2) The fall protection plan contemplated in subregulation (1), shall include-
a) a risk assessment of all work carried out from an elevated position which shall include the procedures and methods used to address all the risks identified per location;
b) the processes for evaluation of the employees’ physical and psychological fitness necessary to work at elevated positions and the records thereof;
c) the programme for the training of employees working from elevated positions and records thereof; and
d) the procedure addressing the inspection, testing and maintenance of all fall protection equipment.
3) A contractor shall ensure that the construction supervisor appointed in terms of regulation 6(1), is in possession of the most recently updated version of the fall protection plan.
4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subregulations (1) and (2), the contractor shall ensure that-
a) all unprotected openings in floors, edges, slabs, hatchways and stairways are adequately guarded, fenced or barricaded or that similar means are used to safeguard any person from failing through such openings;
b) no person works in an elevated position, unless such work is performed safely as if working from a scaffold or ladder;
c) notices are conspicuously placed at all openings where the possibility exists that a person might fall through such openings;
d) fall prevention and fall arrest equipment is-
i) suitable and of sufficient strength for the purpose or purposes for which it is being used having regard to the work being carried out and the load, including any person, it is intended to bear; and
ii) securely attached to a structure or plant and the structure or plant and the means of attachment thereto is suitable and of sufficient strength and stability for the purpose of safely supporting the equipment and any person who is liable to fall;
e) fall arrest equipment shall only be used where it is not reasonably practicable to use fall prevention equipment; and
f) suitable and sufficient steps shall be taken to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that in the event of a fall by any person, the fall arrest equipment or the surrounding environment does not cause injury to the person.
5) Where roof work is being performed on a construction site, the contractor shall ensure that in addition to the requirements set out in subregulations (2) and (4), it is furthermore indicated in the fall protection plan-
a) that the roof work has been properly planned;
b) that the roof erectors are competent to carry out the work;
c) that no employees are permitted to work on roofs during inclement weather conditions or if weather conditions are a hazard to the health and safety of the employees;
d) that prominent warning notices are to be placed where all covers to openings are not of sufficient strength to withstand any imposed loads and where fragile material exists;
e) that the areas mentioned in paragraph (d) are to be barricaded off to prevent persons from entering;
f) that suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings or other similar means of support have been provided to be used in such a way that the weight of any person passing across or working on or from fragile material is supported; and
g) that there is suitable and sufficient guard-rails or barriers and toe-boards or other similar means of protection to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any person, material or equipment.
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

EstieS
Posts: 7
Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 13:30

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by EstieS » 24 Feb 2013, 13:34

Dear Tinus

Would the Construction Regulations be applicable in full for orgaisations from a different Industry, such as washing windows, aircraft maintenance, aircraft valet and washing, etc.?

If the Construction Regulations would not be applicable, the only other reference I can find is in the General Safety Regualtions, Section 6 (Work in elevated positions).

Thank you!

EstieS
Posts: 7
Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 13:30

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by EstieS » 25 Feb 2013, 16:17

Dear Rudy

Thank you very much. That clarifies a lot.

If I could just ask one other question regarding training for self-propelled elevated work platforms, like cherry pickers and sky jacks and high-reach man lifts. Does the training have to be conducted by the manufacturer / training organisation approved by the manufacturer, or can it be an informal familiarization course presented in-house? Does operators need to be trained on all spesific equipment, or would a generic training course be sufficient for operating various different types/manufatured equipment?

Thank you.

Thank you!

Rudy Maritz
Posts: 12
Joined: 08 Dec 2012, 19:01

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by Rudy Maritz » 25 Feb 2013, 21:29

Hi Estie

All lifting machine training has to be done by an institution approved by the Dept of Labour in terms of Driven Machinery regulation 18 and the incorporated code of practice.
As these machines are generally special equipment available for rent, the rental companies offer an operating competency course.
If you are fortunate to own your equipment, the training has to be done by a company mentioned above and unfortunately are not generic in nature, as all courses are for a specific code (type) of machine, much like driving licenses.
Rudy Maritz
Legal Compliance Consultant
Cygma Consulting
Cape Town
Tel: 021 821 1737

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 26 Feb 2013, 14:58

Thanks for the reply Rudy.

Make sure that the training provider is registered with South African National Accreditation System (SANAS).

Greetings
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

EstieS
Posts: 7
Joined: 24 Feb 2013, 13:30

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by EstieS » 19 Mar 2013, 10:10

Dear Tinus

To further my query above, couls you please advise if a medical certificate of competency is required for employees to be trained to work at heights.

Thanks,

Estie

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 19 Mar 2013, 12:27

Hi Estie

Yes

"medical certificate of fitness" means a certificate valid for one year issued by an occupational health practitioner, issued in terms of these regulations, whom shall be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa;

Greetings
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

pierrewillemse
Posts: 1
Joined: 30 Oct 2013, 09:58

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by pierrewillemse » 30 Oct 2013, 10:01

Hi Thinus,
When working at heights, from what height do you need harnasses and fall arrest plan for ladders?
And from what height are you not allowed to use a ladder but need to use scaffolding?
thx

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 30 Oct 2013, 20:34

Yes, all persons working at heights need to receive formal training.

Construction reg 14. Scaffolding

(2) A contractor shall ensure that all scaffolding work operations are carried out under the supervision of a competent person who has been appointed in writing and that all scaffold erectors, team leaders and inspectors are competent to carry out their work.

"competent person" means any person having the knowledge, training, experience and qualifications specific to the work or task being performed: Provided that where appropriate qualifications and training are registered in terms of the provisions of the South African Qualifications Authority Act, 1995 (Act No. 58 of 1995), these qualifications and training shall be deemed to be the required qualifications and training;

Also take note of "SABS 085" South African Bureau of Standards' Code of Practice entitled 'The Design, Erection, Use and Inspection of Access Scaffolding'
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

Dr. Maritz
Posts: 42
Joined: 15 May 2013, 12:16
Location: Cape Town

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by Dr. Maritz » 09 Nov 2013, 10:59

Hi Rocco

You can visit the website of the Institute of Work at Heights IWH for more information.
In terms of the regulations Tinus mentioned the following persons need to have training:
1. The person developing a fall protection plan,
2. A person performing abseilling or rope access work,
3. A fall rescue practitioner
4. Persons working on ladders,
5. MEWP operators and personnel,
6. Persons working on suspended scaffolds,
7. Scaffold Supervisors, Erectors ans Inspectors.

In terms of scaffolding, the erector should be present when a scaffold is built.
The inspector must inspect the built structure and certify it safe for use.
The supervisor needs to be present whenever persons work on the scaffold to ensure it is safely used and not over-loaded.

I hope this helps.
Rudy D Maritz
Executive Partner
M.Sc Env Eng(UK), BCom.Law, NHDip EnvHealth, Pr.CC(SA)
Cygma Consulting
083 762 8388

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 10 Nov 2013, 08:02

Hi Dr

Thank you for the valuable info.

Greetings

Tinus
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

CraigMac160870
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 11:38

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by CraigMac160870 » 30 Mar 2015, 11:48

Good Day,

If it is not stated in the Health and Safety specification for a project that you need to have medical certificates of fitness nor does it state that you require working at heights training, does this mean that you do not require it?
Does the contractor not have a legal obligation to abide by the OHSA and Regulations in his own right as an employer under Section 8 of the Act or does the Safety Spec stand tall here?

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 30 Mar 2015, 18:41

If it is not stated in the Health and Safety specification for a project that you need to have medical certificates of fitness nor does it state that you require working at heights training, does this mean that you do not require it?

Provided earlear by Rudy D Maritz

....................."Working at heights" does not feature anywhere in any legislation in South Africa. It is a phrase that has been adopted from the UK, and used by the Institute for working at heights.

The height, although no longer stipulated in law, has to be sufficient that a fall would cause injury where there is a risk of falling. In other words, standing on a chair to fix a light bulb, would constitute a fall risk because a chair is not designed for the purpose. Doing the same thing on a 3 foot ladder would however not be a fall risk as it complies with GSR6 and is designed for the purpose. Provided that the use of the ladder complies with GSR 13A.

In respect of the Construction regulations. The courts have despite the scope of application or purpose of a regulation, on various occasions ruled that it is applicable to the case. So even though the construction regulations applies to persons performing construction work, it does not "exclusively" apply only to them.

Having said that, you may consider the fall protection regulations in the CR's as a guideline in addition to GSR6. Always remember that the specific requirement always supercedes the general requirement..........

Note: A medical certificate is prescibed by the Construction Regulations (See Annexure 3 of the Construction Reulations)

Does the contractor not have a legal obligation to abide by the OHSA and Regulations in his own right as an employer under Section 8 of the Act or does the Safety Spec stand tall here?

More than would be applicable Section 8 of the OHSA, GSR 8 & the new Construction Regulations - Always remember that the specific requirement always supercedes the general requirement

Greetings
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

CraigMac160870
Posts: 2
Joined: 30 Mar 2015, 11:38

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by CraigMac160870 » 30 Mar 2015, 18:55

Hi Tinus,

Thank you very much for your time and help.

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 31 Mar 2015, 12:10

No problem Graig
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

johnag
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Apr 2015, 07:07

Re: Working at Heights: training and medical

Unread post by johnag » 26 Apr 2015, 07:21

I have been challenged by a customer whether I am medically fit to work from a ladder. I am a 68 year old retired IT specialist running a small security company with 5 employees who do CCTV and other security installations that requires daily use of ladders. At times I climb a ladder to review problems, perform inspections or provide assistance. 80% of the time we use a 6 foot ladder, 15% of the time we use an 8 foot ladder and 5% of the time we use an extension ladder to reach the roof of a double story. Reading the above it appears that my staff need training and a medical certificate, and clearly I now need a medical certificate. I have looked at the Institute of Work at Heights website but cannot find answers. My questions are: 1) where do we get training for my technicians, and 2) how do I find a medical practitioner in Gauteng who can issue medical certificates?

John

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 28 Apr 2015, 08:00

Good morning

Various organisations presents working on hight training courses:

Example: http://www.heightsafety.co.za/

I have attached the annexure 3 that needs to be completed by the Occupational medical practitioner/ Occupational health nursing practitioner.


https://za.linkedin.com/title/occupatio ... uth-africa

Greetings
Attachments
ANNEXURE 3.pdf
(271.58 KiB) Downloaded 311 times
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

johnag
Posts: 2
Joined: 26 Apr 2015, 07:07

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by johnag » 01 May 2015, 06:07

Thanks Tinus,

For the record, and in case others are looking, I have also found the NHC Medical Professional Network in Gauteng and the Cape that have private GPs that do occupational health medicals. Doctors can be found at https://www.nhcltd.com/doctors.php

Regards

John

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 05 May 2015, 07:23

Thank you Johan
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

Lezel WilsonTGS
Posts: 1
Joined: 02 Jun 2015, 08:58

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by Lezel WilsonTGS » 02 Jun 2015, 09:01

Hi

Please can you tell me if Indaba training is a certified academy? As we work in the paper and sugar mills and have been informed that our WAH certificates are not valid as they are not part of Seeta or have the full accreditation but are accredited via Labour?

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 09 Jun 2015, 08:47

Hi Lezel

I am not sure why your certificates are not valid, not all health and safety training has to be SETA accredited (mostly a requirement stipulated by the Construction Regulations).

It would be advisable to take the matter up with your local inspector:

LABOUR HEAD OFFICE:

Telephone Number(s): (012) 309 4000 Fax Number(s): (012) 320 2059
Email Address: webmaster@labour.gov.za

PROVINCIAL OFFICES:

Eastern Cape Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (043) 701 3128 Fax Number(s): (043) 722 1012/743 9719

Free State Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (051) 505 6200 Fax Number(s): (051) 447 9353

Gauteng Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (011) 853 0300 Fax Number(s): (011) 853 0470

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (031) 366 2000 Fax Number(s): (031) 366 2300

Limpopo Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (015) 290 1744 Fax Number(s): (015) 290 1608

Mpumalanga Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (013) 655 8700 Fax Number(s): (013) 690 2622

North West Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (018) 387 8100 Fax Number(s): (018) 384 2745

Northern Cape Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (053) 838 1500 Fax Number(s): (053) 832 4798

Western Cape Provincial Office
Telephone Number(s): (021) 441 8000 Fax Number(s): (021) 441 8135

Greetings
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

addseo1150
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Jul 2015, 04:10

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by addseo1150 » 11 Jul 2015, 08:45

they are not part of Seeta or have the full accreditation but are accredited via Labour?

tinus
Posts: 1728
Joined: 16 Apr 2009, 11:06

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by tinus » 12 Jul 2015, 14:41

Thanks
Tinus Boshoff
Health and Safety Expert
SA Labour Guide Forum Team

Dewan
Posts: 1
Joined: 30 Jul 2015, 08:53

Re: Working at Heights

Unread post by Dewan » 30 Jul 2015, 09:22

Good day

Please advise what the law states on working with a harness on hydrolic equipment.
Is it alowed to fasten the harness to the hydrolic equipment or not?
Also, Will you please share a link were it is stated so that I can present it formally+

Thank you in advance
Nicky

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