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The Consequences of Cannabis use in the Workplace

In Midrand in November 2018 Master Builders Association North (MBA North) in partnership with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) and the Institute for Work at Heights (IWH) presented yet another important topical seminar – this time discussing the burning issue of The Consequences of Cannabis Use in the Workplace – in the context of construction sites, contractors and employers.

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The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act requires the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to recognise professional bodies and register their professional designations on the NQF. This only happens if the professional body meets the SAQA Policy and Criteria for recognising professional bodies and registering professional designations.

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Seminar: Consequences of Cannabis use in the workplace – 27 November 2018 .

Master Builders Association North (MBA North), in collaboration with the South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) and The Institute for Work at Height (IWH) are staging a special seminar in Midrand on 27 November 2018 to address this burning issue.




The IWH have been using QR Codes on our registered Work at Height Licensees/Practitioner certificates. It has come to our attention that the QR Codes can be copied and forged, and it might not be the safest option to validate if the person is in fact registered with us.

We would like to inform all clients/safety officers/contractors/employers etc, to rather validate your registered practitioners on our website by clicking on the following link and inserting the persons ID number:


Please take note: You can also Validate a Practitioner by emailing admin@profbody.co.za or calling our offices at 011 450 1804.



As you might already know, you can validate any of our registered Work at Height Practitioners on our website, ie www.profbody.co.za under the ‘VALIDATE A PRACTITIONER’ tab.

Please take note that you can now also VALIDATE A PRACTITIONER on our cell phone app. This will greatly assist Safety Officers, Supervisors and Clients who cannot verify the Work at Height Practitioner’s status via our website, certificates and ID Cards.

Our Work at Height Guidelines App is a free app and you are all welcome to download it and spread the news that anybody can now check on their employees’ status by just entering the persons ID number.

For the link to download the app on your cell phone, scan the QR Code below with your cell phone – it will download the app on your cell phone. (If you do not as yet have the QR Scanner app, down load the free QR Scan app from your app store.)

If you are still battling and you need assistance installing the app, please email pa@profbody.co.za for a step-by-step guide on how to download the app on android or iPhone.

Please take note: You can also Validate a Practitioner by emailing admin@profbody.co.za or calling our offices at 011 450 1804.

Five safety tips on how to act when working on a roof

Five safety tips on how to act when working on a roof

Safety not only comes from regulations and fall protection, but also from someone’s own behaviour while working at height. Our behaviour is often what causes unsafe situations. But our rash or thoughtless actions can have disastrous consequences while working at height. Fortunately our actions are completely within our control.

There will always be situations in which we have to work at heights and the risk of a potential fall becomes a possibility. This is why we have compiled a list of 5 safety tips for workers who will be working at height. These tips focus on one’s own behaviour and habits. Please take note that it is important to always use proper (personal) fall protection while working at height.

1. Never step or walk backward when on a roof
It may sound like an open door, but unfortunately we still see people doing this. Nine out of ten times it ends well. But that one time something doesn’t go right, it could lead to severe injuries or even death. If you’ve been concentrating on your work, chances are the roof edge or a skylight may be closer than you think. Therefore we urgently advice you to never step or walk backward on a roof. Keep your eyes focused on where you want to go. This way you’ll spot obstacles and dangerous situations before it is too late.

2. Do not let yourself get distracted
These days we do everything on our phones. We even receive our work details digitally. People are engrossed in their phones. This can already lead to dangerous situations while firmly planted on the ground, let alone while working at height. The top of a roof is no place for distractions, before you know it you may trip over something, fall into a poorly covered hole or even over the edge. So prevent getting distracted and focus on where you are, while on top of a roof.

3. Always check roof stability
Test your footing before placing your full weight. Roofs age too, or get damaged. You cannot see what is happening beneath the roofing membrane. So always proceed with caution. At the first signs of instability, stop and contact the building’s owner.

4. Take your time while on a ladder
You can never be 100 percent certain of the condition a ladder is in when you first step on it. So take it slow and test the ladder to make sure it’s secure. Not to mention; take it slow while on the ladder. Ladders lie at the source of many workplace accidents. Take your time and ensure you have good footing and grip while climbing or descending. Those in a hurry may make a misstep with potentially disastrous consequences.

Never be in a hurry while working at heights. Approaching a ladder or roof edge quickly could end in an emergency if you lose your balance or miscalculate. If you fall because you were rushing, your life and schedule will be seriously impacted. Even if you are wearing Personal Protection Equipment, a fall will still make a serious impact. Don’t risk it, be careful.

5. Don’t climb over obstacles
When working at height, obstacles may get in the way of work. Whether it’s a parapet, a pile of construction materials, a skylight or something else, don’t climb over it if you don’t know what’s on the other side. Try to find a safe way across, careless climbing over obstacles is a hazard.

Stop work or continue?
Besides these 5 tips, which will make you more aware of your behaviour when working at heights, another great tool to use before entering a roof is a STOP and Go card. While inspecting this card before working will help you take all the adequate actions before entering a roof. If you cannot answer all questions with a “Yes”, you need to stop working and take the appropriate measures.

(IN RECOGNITION OF XSPLATFORMS – www.xsplatforms.com)



Dear Members and Training Providers


The year has started with us just running to keep up with all the work! The IWH is in a ‘good space’ and we are looking forward to all the latest developments and thought we need to share a few things with our loyal members and training providers, as it is all due to your support and contributions over the past years, that we have accomplished what we now have. 2018 is going to be a good year and we look forward to continue serving you and your interests to the best of our abilities.


As we are representing you, you are making the rules. You have asked that we set our membership criteria more stringently. Chamber Chairs and Vice Chairs met with their individual chamber members and have revised the criteria. Our approach is not to make it more difficult to become a member, but rather to ensure that potential members know right from the start about their future commitment to operate in accordance with national statutes and how to meet the requirements affecting each sector within the work at height industry. Our application forms have been revised to include the new approved additional criteria to become a member.


Our approach is also to support existing members to improve/maintain high standards when operating in the work at height sector. Again, we decided to follow a developmental approach and have decided that all existing members will receive the new additional criteria as a ‘Self Evaluation Questionnaire’ to complete and submit back to us. This has been forwarded to all members to complete. Our aim with this is for the members to see if they comply with all these additional criteria (where applicable to their specific type of company) and if needed, to start implementing those criteria they are not yet adhering to (again, where applicable to the type of company). Please complete the forms and submit back to us by 28 February 2018. Training providers will also receive a ‘Self Evaluation’ form to complete by 28 February 2018.


As you know, we are a non-profit organisation, set up by you, our members. Our aim is not to make profit and therefore the finance committee meets on a yearly basis to review our financial position. The 2016 financial year ended in disaster, as we ‘dropped’ our fees too drastically. We increased the fees in 2017, and the increase, as well as the industry starting to recognise us as delivering a quality service, ensured that we had a much better year. As you might have seen by now already, we had a very small increase (and in some cases no increase and even a reduction in the membership and practitioner registration fees) for 2018. We hope that as our membership grows, we will be able to reduce our fees even more.


I’m quite sure you already know that we are currently busy with a brand new qualification for Scaffolders, Falseworkers, etc. This will also include modules (and in some cases, Part Qualifications) to be trained for employees in the Fall Protection, Rope Access, Aluminium Towers, Suspended Access Platforms and Ladders. The Scaffold and Falsework industry have been badly marginalised in the past and this is the opportunity to set things right. We hope to have the qualification/s finished by the end of 2018 and then the public comment and registration phases will start. We need to ensure that broad consultation takes place and that everybody in the industry gets the opportunity to comment on the qualification – so we rely on our members to also ensure that your clients, and anybody you can think of, receive the information which will be send out on a monthly basis from the end of this month for comments.
We are also proud to announce that we have just registered our first batches of scaffolders with the IWH. We have to thank WACO Training Academy for being the first training provider to upload and register scaffolders. For now, providers can still train against the historically registered unit standards, which they are accredited for. We urge all companies who are conducting Scaffold training to make sure you are accredited, upload your learner results and register them with the IWH PB. For too long, the industry got away with not doing that, and it can lead to serious consequences if your scaffold employees are not trained according to SANS 10085, (which is currently the relevant standard of compliance), and uploaded to the relevant authorities. We had to fight for all of this to be corrected with the relevant authorities and now it is your duty to ensure the right processes are followed!


As you might all be aware of, the industry has been experiencing a lot of incidents and accidents pertaining to ladder use. No training standards were registered on the NQF and we took on the responsibility of developing outcomes for training employees on the use and inspection of ladders. We want to urge our members to please have their employees trained by one of our IWH recognised training providers who are approved to conduct Ladder training! It is extremely important to show to the industry that as an IWH member, you go the ‘extra mile’ in introducing proper training for your employees. We would like your employees to be trained to a uniform standard, which was set by the subject matter experts in the industry! Please take this opportunity and have your employees trained and certified!


We are also happy to report to you the latest development on our discussions with the Dept of Labour. We started a process of discussions between ourselves, the QCTO and SAQA wrt training on high risk skills, such as working at height. It started off with the regulatory requirements for training for users of MEWPs according to the NCOP and went full circle looking into all working at height training as per the OHS Act and Construction Regulations 2014. Everybody started realising that this type of training is actually mandatory, but will not fit into the new QCTO model, which promotes training against part and full qualifications only. We expect to finalise formal agreements with the various state entities quite soon and will keep you informed of developments


We have always had the question “What are you doing for us, your members”. Last year we got our chambers together and during a workshop, asked them “what have we been doing for you”. It was with this input, that we drafted a Power Point Presentation on the Value Equation of the IWH for its members – please click on the following link to access the presentation: https://profbody.co.za/powerpoint-presentations/.


We would like to urge all our members to attend Chamber meetings. This is the platform where you will not just be able to voice your opinions and concerns, but also where you will learn from others. You also get the opportunity to network. If you/any or your employee/s attend Chamber meetings, they will also receive CPD points towards their professional registration (if they are registered against our registered designations), as these meetings are definitely serving the purpose of developing the attendee. IT MUST BE CLEARLY STATED THAT THESE MEETINGS ARE AIMED AT DISCUSSING ISSUES OF COMMUNAL CONCERNS – COLLUSIVE / ANTI-COMPETITIVE BEHAVIOUR WILL NOT BE TOLERATED


Please take note that we have new stock of our Guidelines for Safe Work at Height which can be purchased at R100 (excl vat) per book. Order from accounts@ifwh.co.za.

I would like to end off this newsletter by thanking you again for your loyal support!


Alti and the Team