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Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act No. 85 of 1993)


Construction Regulations, 2014

17. Suspended platforms


(1) A contractor must appoint a competent person in writing who must ensure that all suspended platforms work operations are carried out under his or her supervision and that all suspended platform erectors, operators and inspectors are competent to carry out their work.


(2) No contractor may use or permit the use of a suspended platform, unless—
(a) the design, stability and construction thereof comply with the safety standards incorporated for this purpose into these Regulations under section 44 of the Act;
(b) he or she is in possession of a certificate of system design issued by a professional engineer, certificated engineer or a professional technologist for the use of the suspended platform system; and
(c) he or she is, before the commencement of the work, in possession  of an operational compliance  plan developed by a competent person based on the certificate of system design contemplated  in subparagraph (b)  and  applicable  to the environment in which the system is being used, which operational compliance plan must include proof of the—
(i) appointment of the competent person contemplated  in subregulation  (1);
(ii) competency of erectors, operators and inspectors;
(iii) operational design calculations, which must comply with the requirements of the system design certificate;
(iv) performance test results;
(v) sketches  indicating  the  completed  system  with  the  operational  loading capacity of the platform;
(vi) procedures for and records of inspections having been carried out; and
(vii) procedures for and records of maintenance work having been carried out.


(3) A contractor making use of a suspended platform system must submit a copy of the certificate of system design contemplated in subregulation (2) (b), including a copy of the operational design calculations contemplated in subregulation 2(c)(iii), sketches and test results, to the provincial director before commencement of the use of the system and must further indicate the intended type of work that the system will be used for.


(4) A contractor must submit  a copy of the certificate of system design in the manner contemplated in subregulation (3) for every new project.


(5) A contractor must ensure that the outriggers of each suspended platform-
(a) are constructed of material of adequate strength and have a safety factor of at least four in relation to the load it is to carry; and
(b) have suspension points provided with stop devices or other effective devices at the outer ends to prevent the displacement of ropes.


(6) A contractor must ensure that—
(a) the parts of the building or structure on which the outriggers of a suspended platform are supported, are checked by means of calculations to ensure that the required safety factor is adhered to without risk of damage to the building or structure;
(b) the suspension wire rope and the safety wire rope are separately connected to the outrigger;
(c) each person on a suspended platform is provided with and wears a body harness as a fall prevention device, which must at all times be attached to the suspended platform;
(d) the hand or power driven machinery to be used for the lifting or lowering of the working platform of a suspended platform is constructed and maintained in such a manner that an uncontrolled movement of the working platform cannot occur;
(e) the machinery referred to in paragraph (d) is so situated that it is easily accessible for inspection;
(f) the rope connections to the outriggers are vertically above the connections to the working platform; and
(g) when the working platform is suspended by two ropes only, the connections of the ropes to the working platform are of a height above the level of the working platform to ensure the stability of the working platform.


(7) A contractor must ensure that a suspended platform—
(a) is suspended as near as possible to the structure to which work is being done to prevent as far as is reasonably practicable horizontal movement away from the face of the structure;
(b) is fitted with anchorage points to which workers must attach the lanyard of the safety harness worn and used by the worker, and such anchorage connections must have sufficient strength to withstand any potential load applied to it; and
(c) is fitted with a conspicuous notice easily understandable by all workers working with the suspended platform, showing—
(i) the maximum mass load;
(ii) the maximum number of persons; and
(iii) the  maximum  total  mass  load,  including  load  and  persons,  which  the suspended platform can carry.


(8) A contractor must cause—
(a) the whole installation and all working parts of a suspended platform to be thoroughly examined by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer's specification;
(b) the whole installation to be subjected to a performance test as determined by the standard to which the suspended platform was manufactured;
(c) the performance test contemplated in paragraph (b) to be done by a competent person appointed in writing, with the knowledge and experience of erection and maintenance of suspended  platforms or similar machinery, and who must determine the serviceability of the structures, ropes, machinery and safety devices before they are used, every time suspended platforms are erected; and
(d) the performance test contemplated in paragraph (b) of the whole installation of the suspended platform to be subjected to a load equal to that prescribed by the manufacturer or, in the absence of such load, to a load of 110 per cent of the rated mass load, at intervals not exceeding 12 months and in such a manner that every part of the installation is stressed accordingly.


(9) A contractor must, in addition to subregulation (8), cause every hoisting rope, hook or other load-attaching device which forms part of the suspended platform to be thoroughly examined in accordance with the manufacturer's specification by the competent person contemplated in subregulation (8) before they are used every time they are assembled, and, in cases of continuous use, at intervals not exceeding three months.


(10) A contractor must ensure that the suspended platform supervisor contemplated in subregulation (1), or the suspended platform inspector contemplated in subregulation (8)(c), carries out a daily inspection of all the equipment prior to use, including establishing whether—
(a) all connection bolts are secure;
(b) all safety devices are functioning;
(c) all safety devices are not tampered with or vandalized;
(d) the total maximum mass load of the platform is not exceeded;
(e) the occupants in the suspended platform are using body harnesses which have been properly attached;
(f) there are no visible signs of damage to the equipment; and
(g) all reported operating problems have been attended to.


(11) A contractor must ensure that all inspection and performance test records are kept on the construction site at all times and made available to an inspector, the client, the client's agent or any employee upon request.


(12)        A contractor must ensure that all employees required to work or to be supported on a suspended platform are—

(a) medically fit to work safely in a fall risk position or such similar environment  by being in possession of a medical certificate of fitness;

(b)        competent in conducting work related to suspended platforms safely;

(c)        trained or received training, which includes at least—

(i)        how to access and egress the suspended platform safely;

(ii)        how to correctly operate the controls and safety devices of the equipment;

(iii)        information on the dangers related to the misuse of safety devices; and

(iv)        information on the procedures to be followed in the case of—

(aa)        an emergency;

(bb)        the malfunctioning of equipment; and

(cc)        the discovery of a suspected defect in the equipment; and

(v)        instructions on the proper use of body harnesses.


(13) A contractor must ensure that where the outriggers of a suspended platform are to be moved, only persons trained and under the supervision of the  competent  person  effect  such move, within the limitation stipulated in the operational compliance plan contemplated in subregulation (2)(c), and that the supervisor must carry out an inspection and record the result thereof prior to re-use of the suspended platform.


(14) A contractor must ensure that the suspended platform is properly isolated after use at the end of each working day in such a manner that no part of the suspended platform presents a danger to any person thereafter.