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What is a Fall Protection Plan?

What is a Fall Protection Plan?

A Fall Protection Plan (FPP) is a documented plan to work at a fall risk.

The Construction Regulations of 2014 define a fall protection plan:

“fall protection plan” means a documented plan, which includes and provides for-
(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 of falling; and
(c) a rescue plan and procedures;

“fall risk” means any potential exposure to falling either from, off or into;

Lets look what is the requirements 

Construction Regulation 10 :

Fall protection
10. (1) A contractor must-
(a) designate a competent person to be responsible for the preparation of a fall
protection plan- the fall protection plan developer must have the following training , provided by an SETA accredited training provider : Unit standard 229998,229995 and 229994. Preferably the person must be registered by (IWH) Institute for Working at Heights.
(b) ensure that the fall protection plan contemplated in paragraph (a) is implemented,
amended where and when necessary and maintained as required- the CR8.1, CR8.7 and the Project Manager  must have the lastes copy of the fall protection plan at all times. The CR8.1 and CR8.7 must ensure compliance with the fall protection plan.
(c) take steps to ensure continued adherence to the fall protection plan.
(2) A fall protection plan contemplated in sub regulation (1), must include-
(a) a risk assessment of all work carried out from a fall risk position and the
procedures and methods used to address all the risks identified per location- the method of access , the equipment as well as training and rescue procedures must be identified in the method statement. Based on this information and the site inspection the risk assessment must be developed.The risk assessment must be facilitated by a competent risk assessor and fall protection plan developer.
(b) the processes for the evaluation of the employees’ medical fitness necessary to
work at a fall risk position and the records thereof- all employees must have a valid medical fitness certificate for working at heights. The procedure must address chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, hypertension ,heart disease and other.

(c) a programme for the training of employees working from a fall risk position and the
records thereof- all employees must be found competent for fall arrest – Unit standard 229998 or when doing rope access- Unit standard 230000 as well as 229998. It is recommended that all employees are trained by an accredited training provider and that all employees is IWH registered.
(d) the procedure addressing the inspection, testing and maintenance of all fall
protection equipment- the procedure must identify who will inspect all equipment, when will the equipment  be inspected and how will defective equipment  be dealt with.
(e) a rescue plan detailing the necessary procedure, personnel and suitable
equipment required to affect a rescue of a person in the event of a fall incident to
ensure that the rescue procedure is implemented immediately following the
incident.- there must be an appropriate rescue kit available on site. The team must be trained on the use of the rescue kit and rescue procedure. The supervisor and members of the rescue team must be trained in Unit standard 229998 as well as 229995. The rescue plan must be practical and simple so that the employees will remember it .
(3) A contractor must ensure that a construction manager appointed under regulation 8(1) is
in possession of the most recently updated version of the fall protection plan.
(4) A contractor must 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 falling through such openings;
(b) no person is required to work in a fall risk position, unless such work is performed
safely as contemplated in subregulation (2);
(c) fall prevention and fall arrest equipment are-
(i) approved as suitable and of sufficient strength for the purpose for which they
are being used, having regard to the work being carried out and the load,
including any person, they are intended to bear- take in consideration the OEM specifications of the equipment as well as the SANS standards.
(ii) securely attached to a structure or plant, and the structure or plant and the
means of attachment thereto are suitable and of sufficient strength and
stability for the purpose of safely supporting the equipment and any person
who could fall-self identified anchor points must have a safe working load of 150 kg and  a breaking strength of 1500 kg for one person.
(d) fall arrest equipment is used only where it is not reasonably practicable to use fall
prevention equipment.- fall prevention equipment is equipment such as life lines, retractable life lines,work positioning belts and etc.
(5) Where roof work is being performed on a construction site, the contractor must ensure
that, in addition to the requirements set out in sub regulations (2) and (4), it is indicated in the fall
protection plan that-
(a) the roof work has been properly planned- again there must be a roof work method statement addressing all of above and include the process of carrying out roof work safely.

(b) the roof erectors are competent to carry out the work- how do you proof competence? through experience , knowledge and training. There is no training in the roofing industry for roof sheeters. So you will need to prove experience and knowledge. Suppliers such as GRS and Safintra provide product training which can assist in proof of competence.
(c) no employee is permitted to work on roofs during inclement weather conditions or if
any conditions are hazardous to the health and safety of the employee;
(d) all covers to openings and fragile material are of sufficient strength to withstand
any imposed loads;
(e) 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
(t) suitable and sufficient guard-rails, barriers and toe-boards or other similar means
of protection prevent, as far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any person,
material or equipment.

When developing a fall protection plan , the first step will be to draft a method statement.In the method statement you identify the method of acces- ladders, scaffolding, MEWP or rope access. From there you can identify the type of equipment needed such as harness, and what type of harness. Life lines , descending devices, ascending devices and etc.Look carefully at the OEM specifications of the equipment as well as the SANS standards.

Now you can identify what method will be used, will it be fall arrest or rope access. And what type of training is necessary for the employees .

There is no such thing as a one fit all fall protection plan. Each site will differ and the fall protection plan must be in line with your scope of work.

Stephan Van Der Westhuizen is an IWH  registered fall arrest and rescue technician, fall protection plan developer and climbing equipment inspector. We assist with the development of site and task specific fall protection plans.

We can assist with the following:

  • Site Specific Fall Protection Plan
  • Fall Arrest Equipment
  • Inspection of equipment
  • FPP Induction Training
  • Temporary life line systems
Fall Protection Plans
safety file
What is included in a health and safety file?

What is included in a health and safety file?

Every  Health and Safety File is ‘site specific’. It will be compiled in accordance with the client’s and the site’s safety specifications. The overall information requirements remain the same, and the site specific documents will be added. When we setup your Health and Safety File, it will consist of the following Documents:

  • Contractor appointment letter. (Construction Regulation 5(3)(f) of the OHS A)
    37(2) Agreement between client and contractor
  • Notification of Construction Work
  • Copy of the OHS Act
  • Occupational Health and Safety Management Plan
  • Company Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Letter of Good Standing
  • Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used (if required)
  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Risk Assessments
  • Safe work procedures (Site Specific)
  • Fall Protection plan (if required)
  • Legal appointment with proof of training (Ex. Chief Executive Officer, Risk Assessor, First Aider etc.)
  • Incident reporting procedures
  • Incident reports (General Administrative Regulation 9 (3) – Annexure 1)
  • Incident registers
  • Reports of accidents
  • Emergency preparedness documents
  • First aid documents
  • Induction records
  • Medical surveillance records
  • Safety communication (e.g. Toolbox talks)
  • Minutes of safety meetings
  • Inspection registers
  • Read more on our blog
when is a safety file required ?

when is a safety file required ?

When is a safety file required and what must the contractor know?

Every contractor and sub-contractor is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and the Construction Regulations 2014, to have a  Safety File that must be available at all times. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Construction Regulations 2014 state the following:

  • Construction Regulation 3(6)– A client must ensure that the principle contractor keeps a copy of the construction work permit contemplated in sub regulation (1)  in the occupational health and safety file for inspection by an inspector, the client, the client’s authorized agent, or an employee;
  • Construction Regulation 5(1)(s) – The client must ensure that health and safety file contemplated  in regulation 7(1)(b) is kept and maintained by the principle contractor;
  • Construction Regulation 7(1)(b) –A principle contractor must open and keep on site a health and safety file which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations, which must be made available on request to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or a contractor.

There is no prescribed format for a safety file in the OHS Act,Construction Regulation 7(1)(b) –A principle contractor must open and keep on site a health and safety file which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations.However the client or clients agent may prescribe an standard or format in the clients health and safety specifications .

safety file
What is a safety file?

What is a safety file?

What is a  safety file?

A  Safety File, otherwise known as a ‘Contractor Health and Safety File’ is a record of information focusing on the management of health and safety on construction sites for contractors and sub-contractors. It protects the employer from criminal liability and proves compliance to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.

What does the South African LAW say about a Health and Safety File?

Every contractor and sub-contractor is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and the Construction Regulations 2014, to have a  Safety File that must be available at all times. The Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Construction Regulations 2014 state the following:

Construction Regulation 3(6)– A client must ensure that the principle contractor keeps a copy of the construction work permit contemplated in sub regulation (1) in the occupational health and safety file for inspection by an inspector, the client, the client’s authorized agent, or an employee;
Construction Regulation 5(1)(s) – The client must ensure that health and safety file contemplated in regulation 7(1)(b) is kept and maintained by the principle contractor;
Construction Regulation 7(1)(b) –A principle contractor must open and keep on site a health and safety file which must include all documentation required in terms of the Act and these Regulations, which must be made available on request to an inspector, the client, the client’s agent or a contractor.
The Health and Safety File must be maintained by the site safety personnel and audited by a competent person.

What do we include in your  Safety File

Every  Safety File is ‘site specific’. It will be compiled in accordance with the client’s and the site’s safety specifications. The overall information requirements remain the same, and the site specific documents will be added. When we setup your Health and Safety File, it will consist of the following Documents:

  • Contractor appointment letter. (Construction Regulation 5(3)(f) of the OHS A)
    37(2) Agreement between client and contractor
  • Notification of Construction Work
  • Copy of the OHS Act
  • Occupational Health and Safety Management Plan
  • Company Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Letter of Good Standing
  • Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used (if required)
  • Tax clearance certificate
  • Risk Assessments
  • Safe work procedures (Site Specific)
  • Fall Protection plan (if required)
  • Legal appointment with proof of training (Ex. Chief Executive Officer, Risk Assessor, First Aider etc.)
  • Incident reporting procedures
  • Incident reports (General Administrative Regulation 9 (3) – Annexure 1)
  • Incident registers
  • Reports of accidents
  • Emergency preparedness documents
  • First aid documents
  • Induction records
  • Medical surveillance records
  • Safety communication (e.g. Toolbox talks)
  • Minutes of safety meetings
  • Inspection registers
  • Read more on our blog

Searching for answers and guessing which of the safety regulations are relevant to your business can keep you busy for a very long time. There are templates that you need, but there are so many and you don’t know which ones are correct. You are not sure what safety topics to use in your Tool Box Talks and how often you should do them. You simply don’t have the time and you have more important things to attend to.We will worry about your safety file while you worry about your business- we have all the knowledge and experience .

Safety File
Need a Safety File ?

Need a Safety File ?

Need a Safety File? We assist clients and contractors with the set-up and implementation of safety files.

  • We supply health and safety files to comply with new CONSTRUCTION REGULATIONS 2014.
  • Our Health and safety files will be compiled according to the contractors scope of work and the clients health and safety specifications.
  • The health and safety file contains all legal documentation, including legal appointments, registers, toolbox talks, etc.
  • Our consultants will assist to  implement the file and explain how to maintain it.
  • We will draft a site specific Safety Plan, we will ensure that the Client approves the plan and will assist the contractor if any changes are required.

What do we include in your  Safety File

Every  Safety File is ‘site specific’. It will be compiled in accordance with the client’s and the site’s safety specifications. The overall information requirements remain the same, and the site specific documents will be added. When we setup your Safety File, it will consist of the following Documents:

  • Contractor appointment letter. (Construction Regulation 5(5)(k) or 7(1)(v)
  • 37(2) Agreement between client and contractor
  • Notification of Construction Work- we will submit the document to DOL
  • Copy of the OHS Act and Regulations.
  • Construction Work Permit.
  • Company Occupational Health and Safety Policy
  • Letter of Good Standing ,Public Liability Insurance, Tax Clearance  and other documents.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets for hazardous materials used (if required)
  • Risk Assessments- baseline and task specific
  • Safe work procedures (Site Specific)
  • Fall Protection plan-IWH Registered person will compile the FPP.
  • Legal appointment with proof of training – all which is applicable to your scope of work.
  • Incident reporting  and investigation procedures and documents.
  • Incident reports (General Administrative Regulation 9 (3) – Annexure 1)
  • Emergency preparedness documents
  • First aid documents- dressing records and registers.
  • Induction records- company induction as well as client induction .
  • Medical surveillance records- annexure 3 medicals.
  • Safety communication (e.g. Toolbox talks)
  • Health and Safety Plan- task and site specific
  • Company Policies and Procedures – e.g HIV Policy,Substance Abuse Policy  and Waste Management Plan
  • Registers (task and site specific, e.g. Confined space, PPE issue, hand tools etc.)
  • Minutes of safety meetings
  • Audit  reports- internal and client audits
  • Inspection registers
  • Searching for answers and guessing which of the safety regulations are relevant to your business can keep you busy for a very long time. There are templates that you need, but there are so many and you don’t know which ones are correct. You are not sure what safety topics to use in your Tool Box Talks and how often you should do them. You simply don’t have the time and you have more important things to attend to.We will worry about your safety file while you worry about your business- we have all the knowledge and experience .
Safety File Software VS Consultants

Safety File Software VS Consultants

Can I use software to compile a safety file for my project?

Yes you can. However the OHS Act,85 of 1993 under Construction Regulation 7(1)(a) and (b) requires the contractor to submit a site specific health and safety plan and a safety file for each project.So many companies sell software to contractors, who does not have the required skills and knowledge to compile a safety file.

There is different software available but all the material is generic and will not be specific to the site or the task.This software is generally cheap and once you bought it , you need to spend hours trying to understand the instructions.

What makes the SACPCMP registered consultants better ?

Any consultant  registered with the SACPCMP has been assessed and found competent, with the necessary skills and experience. The consultant has been professionally registered and must abide by the SACPCMP code of conduct.
On the larger projects it is an legal requirement to appoint a SACPCMP individual.

Will you go to a heart surgeon who is not HPCSA registered?

How much does a Safety File cost?

How much does a Safety File cost?

How much does a Safety File Cost?this is the first question someone ask when they phone me.

Health and Safety File prices differ drastically from one company to the next. So How much is a Safety File? Well that depends on the company you choose to work with. There are no set prices for a health and safety file. The price is determined by the consultant you use for the file. We have seen prices from between R1000 – R20000. The price would also depend on the size of the project and the risks involved .You should be careful to simply use the cheapest contractor. Make sure that your consultant is competent and SACPCMP registered A safety file is a very important part of your project and you definitely don’t want to compromise on quality or face legal compliance issues, delays and non-payments.

How much does a Safety File cost? should not be the first question being asked, but rather are you a competent ,SACPCMP registered individual? 

The point is , it is not always the best decision to use the cheapest consultant because you did not budget for a safety file

Every contractor is required to present to the client a site specific health and safety file, and every client must ensure that the contractor has the required resources  to implement the health and safety plan on site. Occupational Health and Safety should be a standard item on every Bill of Quantities .