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Good Practice Notes

Good Practice Notes

The INSTITUTE FOR WORK AT HEIGHT (IWH) has received official recognition by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the Professional Body (PB) for the work at height industry in South Africa. The IWH PB is a non-statutory body, recognising practitioners in the working at height industry.

FALL PROTECTION CHAMBER - Report on Unit Standard 120362

The Institute for Work at Height was formed in January 2009 being a merger of the Specialised Access Engineering Manufacturers Association (SAEMA) and the Rope Access And Fall Arrest Association (RAFAA) desirous of creating safety awareness and in turn “professionalism in the overall Work At Height Industry”. Its stated objectives and functions can be summarised as:

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WORKING AT HEIGHT - A brief guide

This brief guide describes what you, as an employer, need to do to protect your employees from falls from height. It will also be useful to employees and their representatives.

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ACCESS TOWERS AND LADDERS CHAMBER - Aluminium, Composite and Steel Ladders

Ladders must be suitable for the work to be conducted, taking into account time period (no longer than 30 minutes), the nature of the work to be conducted (light work only) and Global risk (time and man power for alternate equipment);

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The selection, management and use of mobile elevating work platforms

This information sheet is aimed at those who select, specify, manage and operate mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). It tells you what you should consider before selecting a MEWP to gain access to work at height and the risks that need to be assessed and managed while the MEWP is in use. All types of MEWPs are covered by this guidance, including ones that are:

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Best Practice Bulleting # 122

Inspecting a MEWP is vital to ensure that it is safe, complete, that is works properly and that it is clean. You must inspect the entire machine both before and after use. That is, the power source, all working parts, the structure and vehicle mounting (where applicable) in conjunction with the manufacturer’s manual.

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Best Practice Bulleting # 123

During use it is important that operators use level indicators on platforms and take notice of any warnings provided. If the level indicator shows that operating limits are being exceeded, the operator should lower the platform or machine and reset in a level position. If it is suspected that the outriggers could sink for any reason, regular checks should be made of machine level and adjustments made to outriggers, spreaders, mats etc.

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GUIDANCE FOR MAJOR INSPECTIONS OF MOBILE ELEVATING WORK PLATFORMS

This document outlines a major inspection scheme to validate structural integrity and functionality of critical components of a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). Such a scheme may be undertaken to determine if a machine is within safe design and use criteria beyond the manufacturer’s design life. Design life is defined as the duration determined by the manufacturer for which a structure or a structural component may be used for its intended purpose with recommended maintenance.

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MEWP CHAMBER IWH Information Circular 1 – Man injured; loading boom

A man was seriously injured yesterday while loading a large boom lift in Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The man was loading a Terex (Marklift) telescopic boom onto a low loader when it appears to have slipped off the side and rolled, the operator/driver has either been thrown from the platform or injured in the basket as it hit the ground.

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MEWP CHAMBER IWH Information Circular 2 – Balfour Beatty safety alert

We have finally received a copy of the Balfour Beatty Safety Alert, issued in the UK that lays down new rules regarding scissor lift control boxes working on its sites. The Alert was prompted by an incident in which a man working for one of its subcontractors caught the sleeve or other loose part of his coat on the live joystick of a scissor lift, causing the unit to lurch forward under the ladder rack he was working on. The man suffered a fractured rib, but the incident could easily have caused a more serious injury or in the worst case a fatality.

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MEWP CHAMBER IWH Information Circular 4 – Anchors on a MEWP

Fall protection anchors are designed and tested to SANS 50795/EN 795. MEWP platforms are equipped with MEWP lanyard attachment points and these cannot be subjected to the rigors of EN 795 when it comes to testing, the requirement of which would be a 100kg test weight being dropped from the MEWP platform and a 600kg static load test.

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MEWP CHAMBER - MEWP Hand over Orientation

The IWH MEWP Chamber Members agreed to standardise the Hand over training process by introducing a Hand over Orientation Certificate.

The content covers all the necessary outcomes to ensure the safe working and operation of a specific Mobile Elevated Work Platform. On successful completion the Operator would have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the safe working and operation of a specific Mobile Elevated Work Platform.

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER Selection of a suitable helmet for working at height

There is a range of helmets available that comply with different performance standards. There is also an inexhaustible range of risks that exist with working at height. However, a few inherent risks that relate to the use of helmets are likely to be always present when any work at height is done.

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER Anchors and Fall Protection systems – Instructions for Marking

It is considered essential to mark and provide the relevant information for any installed single point anchor or fall protection system. Such markings and information should include:

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER Lead Climbing

Lead climbing is an advanced technical skill used in rope access. Although it forms part of the skills of a rope access level 2 practitioner, it is highly recommended that a rope access level 3 supervisor is involved.

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER - on the use of the Petzl Shunt

Previous Petzl statements required special training for this specific use of the Petzl Shunt. The lack of any described methods or special training therefore makes these previous Petzl statements obsolete.

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER Tensioned Cableway Systems – Angles and Loads

The IWH Rope Access chamber guidelines on tensioned cableway systems (diagonal and horizontal cableway systems):

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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER SELF-TIED DYNAMIC ROPE COW-TAILS

Cow-tails are only to be tied into the chest or centre-waist D-rings of the harness, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer of the equipment. If tied into the chest D-ring of the harness, the user should be aware of the potential difficulties that could be faced as a result of this configuration (e.g. as rescuer, being loaded on the chest D-ring by the casualty).

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