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Don't have a fall protection plan? If so, you'll face these four penalties and fines

by , 28 November 2013
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to have a fall protection plan if your employees work at elevated heights. If you don't comply, your company will face the following penalties...

Having a fall protection plan is a legal requirement under Section 6 of the General Safety Regulations and Section 8 of the Construction Regulations (OHSA). If you don't comply, you could find yourself in prison and paying thousands in fines and other penalties, says the Health & Safety Advisor.

Here's a detailed breakdown of the penalties you could face for non-compliance with the OHSA.

Revealed: Penalties and fines you'll face if you don't have a fall protection plan

#1: If you willfully or recklessly cause injury to your employees by not complying with Section 8, 11 and 12 of the OHSA, you'll be guilty of an offence.

For example, you allow your employees to work on a roof without harnesses and they fall. By doing this you've recklessly caused their injury.

If you're convicted you'll be fined R50 000 or face imprisonment for one year, or both.

#2: If you do something that isn't in your plan or don't do something in your plan that was a legal requirement, which causes injury or illness to your employees, you'll be guilty of an offence.

For example, in your plan you say scaffolding will be used when your employees work at heights, but you let them use ladders instead. Although using ladders isn't illegal, your fall protection plan was approved based on the fact that you'd use scaffolding, not ladders. If your employees are injured while using the ladders instead of scaffolding, you could be in serious trouble.

If you're convicted you could be fined R100 000 or face imprisonment for two years or both.

#3: You mustn't allow your employees to work at heights unless they can work safely from a ladder, scaffolding or in a safe position (General Safety Regulation 6).

If you don't comply with General Safety Regulation 6, you'll be guilty of an offence. If convicted, you could pay a fine or be imprisoned for six months. If you continue to commit the offence you'll pay an additional fine of R200 per day, for each day the offence continues. You could also be kept in jail longer, for a maximum of 90 days.

#4: Construction Regulation 8 says you must have a fall protection plan that's drawn up by a competent person (fall protection specialist) and that your plan must be maintained.

You must have controls in place to ensure you and your employees comply with the content of the fall protection plan.

If you don't comply with Construction Regulation 8, you'll be guilty of an offence. If convicted, you could pay a fine or be imprisoned for 12 months. Continue with this offence and you'll pay an additional fine of R200 per day, for each day the offence continues. You could also be kept in jail longer than six months, for a maximum of 90 days.

The penalties for not having a fall protection plan are harsh. So make sure you comply.

 

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