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How long is a fall protection plan valid for?

by , 09 September 2013
You already know that if your employees work at heights, you must have a fall protection plan in place. But the big question is: How long is a fall protection plan valid for? Read on to find out so you won't be caught on the wrong side of the 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.

But how long is this plan valid? And must you have a plan for each project your company embarks on?

Is your fall protection plan still valid?

According to the Health&Safety Advisor, your fall protection plan's valid for the duration of a project, for example, a construction project. Or work that's done on a regular basis, for example cleaning windows on buildings.

If there are any differences in the safety issues for different parts of a project, make sure you do a risk assessment and include this as part of your supporting documentation of your plan.

Keep in mind that any changes to the plan during the project must be completed and approved by a competent person. This person must have qualifications that comply with the South African Qualifications Authority.

If you use a generic template to write your fall protection plan, make a checklist of the content. Use the checklist to make sure you don't miss anything that should be included.

Here's a checklist you can use to ensure your fall protection plan has all the information you'll need:

  • Work location and competencies
  • Statement of company policy
  • Fall protection systems to be used on this project
  • Safety monitoring system
  • Implementation of fall protection plan
  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Compliance enforcement process
  • Incident/accident reporting process
  • Incident/accident investigation process
  • Changes to fall protection plan process

Well there you have it. Your fall protection is only valid for the duration of a project. So make sure you comply with the OHSA to protect your workers if they work at heights.

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