RACA Journal June 2016 - Page 63

Support Continued from page 59 For every day they don’t do anything to make sure the ladders and scaffolding are safe, they’ll be fined an additional amount or have another day added to their jail sentence (General Safety Regulation 14 and Construction Regulation 30 of the OHSA). Ways employees can work at heights Employees can work at heights using a) ladders, or b) scaffolding. Attaching lanyards to the harness and anchorage point The lanyard must be properly secured to the harness at the fall arrest attachment, and ensure the safety latch is locked in place. Check that the anchoring point that you want to secure the lanyard to is secure and safe. Check the anchoring for cracks, bulges, rust, and secureness. If unsure, do not use the anchoring point. Slings must be used where the anchorage points do not suit the connector: INCORRECT CORRECT Minimum free space Fall arrest systems are designed to limit the extent of a person’s fall. To prevent the possibility of a collision, sufficient free space must be allowed directly under the user. The free space is called minimum free space (MFS); in other words, the distance measured from the anchorage to the next level. The user must give great care and thought to the MFS because it doesn’t help if he/she is wearing a harness but the MFS is insufficient. 1 = Lanyard length and energy absorber. 2 = Harness stretch and distance between harness attachment point and the user’s feet. 3 = Safety clearance. MFS = 1 + 2 + 3 INCORRECT CORRECT The mass of the user may influence the above to a greater or lesser extent. Example of minimum free space 1 = 3.25m 2 = 2.00m 3 = 0.50m MFS = 5.75m Climbing scaffolding and access ladders Ladder climbing should be done smoothly and rhythmically. Rungs should be grasped with the palm of the hand facing downwards and the fingers beneath the rung. It is permissible to grasp every alternate rung instead of each rung. It is better to grasp every rung on the ladder. Both hands should be used during the climbing process. When there is a need to carry tools or equipment in one hand, the other hand should be sliding underneath the beam of the ladder where possible. The carrying of tools and equipment in Continued on page 63 www.hvacronline.co.za RACA Journal I June 2016 61