Did you know that falls from working at height are the single biggest cause of deaths and one of the main causes of injury in the workplace? While this is the case, you can minimise many of these injuries and even fatalities with a fall protection plan.
If your employees work at heights, you must have a fall protection plan in place. It's a legal requirement by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
A fall protection plan is a document that's drafted to help prevent falls and protect employees who work at heights. The plan includes a description of the work to be done (at heights), the hazards associated with the work and how to manage the risks these hazards pose, explains the Health and Safety Advisor.
If your employees work in any situation where there's a risk of falling, you must have a fall protection plan.
Your fall protection plan must include all activities that involve the possibility of your employees falling and injuring themselves.
Here's a list of 12 of the most common work activities where an employee can fall
If you don't comply with the Act and your employees are injured as a result, you'll be guilty of an offence. If you're convicted, you'll be fined R50 000 or face imprisonment for one year, or both.
So ensure you have a fall protection plan if your employees work at elevated heights.
Keep in mind that your plan must be drawn up by a competent person (a fall protection specialist). In addition, you must have controls in place to ensure you and your employees comply with the content of the fall protection plan.