Deploying tower cranes and construction hoists on work sites raises the pace of the project through higher productivity, but any non-compliance with the numerous safety regulations will have the opposite effect.
“This is why we, at SA French, take as much of the administrative load as possible off our customers’ shoulders when it comes to lifting-related safety compliance,” says Brenden Crous, SA French’s manager for Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ). “Our expert knowledge ensures that we cover all the bases with the necessary procedures and documentation, so that everything is on hand for inspection.”
Crous highlights that a Department of Labour inspector may consider a site shutdown if there are any significant gaps in compliance, leading to costly and inconvenient delays.
“Both our product lines, Potain tower cranes and SA French construction hoists, involve high risk activities, so one of our main priorities is to control the risks associated with working at height,” he says. “All areas of risk in relation to tower crane or hoist safety procedures must be identified, assessed and mitigated so that our customers are not exposed to that risk.”
He highlights the importance of the fall protection plan, which must be compiled by a competent person with the necessary training and experience. The plan must address all risks relating to working from a fall-risk position, and provide procedures and methods that eliminate the risk of falling.
While tower cranes must comply with both the Driven Machinery regulations and the Construction regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), construction hoists must also meet OHSA’s Lift, Escalator and Passenger Conveyor regulations as they can carry both passengers and materials.
“These stringent requirements demand compliance with a range of South African National Standards relating to the construction, installation, maintenance and operation of passenger conveyors,” says Crous.
He emphasises that any construction related equipment which is used to move people must be registered with the Department of Labour before it can be legally installed. SA French facilitates these various procedures and permissions by working closely with qualified and independent inspectors, who themselves must be legally and professionally recognised in terms of their scope of expertise and operation.