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Install, use and perform basic rescues from fall arrest systems and implement the fall protection plan (FAS)


Unit Standard (SAQA Reg. No 229995)

Statistics prove that working at height is a dangerous working condition, whatever the height. The most common accidents are falls from height and the injuries can be caused by trauma and bone fractures to ruptures of internal organs, massive internal bleeding and, ultimately, to death.

If one wishes to prevent accidents involving falls from heights, priority must be given to having in place appropriate collective fall protection measures. When collective protection cannot be provided or the cost could be prohibitive, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used, either to prevent the fall or to arrest the fall and to maintain the user in a safe position.

Successful candidates credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Explain the use of a range of fall arrest equipment and knowledge of applicable regulations
  • Explain and use basic rope knots
  • Install and use fall arrest systems
  • Inspect and assemble fall arrest equipment and systems
  • Interpret and implement a fall protection plan
  • Perform basic fall arrest rescues to bring a casualty down to safety




Quality Assured Partner: Construction Education And Training Authority



Learners wishing to acquire the competencies in this course will be people working at height where there is a risk of injury from a fall. Learners will be involved in performing tasks at height. Qualifying learners are able to take responsibility for inspection and installation of fall arrest systems and for implementing fall protection plans and rescues. The area of focus of this programme will be;

Terms and Definitions of fall arrest equipment

  • Introduction
  • Fall arrest terms and definitions
  • Full Body Harness and Work Positioning Systems
  • Fall Restraint
  • Fall Arrest
  • Personal Fall Arrest Systems
  • Positioning system
  • Suspension system
  • Retrieval
  • Body Wear (Full-Body Harnesses & Belts)

Fall arrest equipment

  • Connecting and decelerating devices
  • Anchorage Connectors
  • The risks of using a non-energy absorbing lanyard
  • Using fall arrest equipment

Rescue Equipment

  • Shock load
  • Fall Factors
  • Anchor loads
  • Why should rescue equipment be available?

Rope Knots

  • Figure 8
  • Double figure 8
  • Butterfly loop
  • Double Overhand knot
  • Super hunter knot
  • Figure 8 follow thru


  • Fall Arrest Rescue Equipment

Install Lifelines

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal

Safe use of Anchors

  • Use full body harness
  • Lanyards

Install and use fall arrest systems

  • Falls are classified into four categories
  • Elements off a fall
  • Prevention of a fall
  • Body support
  • Using a Harness
  • Use personal protective equipment when necessary
  • General Safety Guidelines
  • Unintentional disengagement
  • Inappropriate connections
  • Connecting web-loop

Different types of harnesses explained

  • Group A
  • Group D
  • Group E
  • Group L
  • Group P

Inspect, Use and Store fall arrest equipment

  • Inspections
  • Scope of the inspection regime
  • Formal Inspections
  • Practical inspection procedure
  • Examples of defects and damage
  • Withdrawing lanyards from use
  • Examples of lanyards that have been withdrawn

Report suspect equipment

  • Record keeping

Lifelines and lanyards

  • Shock Absorbing Lanyard
  • Activated and intact energy absorbing lanyard
  • Examples of defects and damage
  • Withdrawing lanyards from use

Maintenance of fall protection equipment

  • Care during use
  • Why fall protection equipment may not be repaired
  • After a fall

Storing a harness

  • Cleaning and Storage
  • Training requirement
  • Signage


  • Fixed Ladders
  • Portable Ladders
  • Folding stepladders
  • Platform stepladders
  • Straight and Extension Ladders
  • Double stepladders
  • Trestle ladders
  • Step and Trestle Ladders
  • Office and Stockroom Ladders
  • Ladder inspection
  • Proper Ladder Care and Storage
  • Placement

Interpret and Implement a fall protection plan

  • Risk assessment
  • Meaning of risk assessment and what the Act says about risk assessments
  • General principles for a risk assessment
  • Legislative Requirements
  • Fall protection plan contents
  • Usage of fall protection equipment.
  • Fall Prevention Equipment
  • Fall Arrest Equipment
  • Areas for use should include
  • Areas not to be used for anchorage

Working at heights hazards

Duties of the supervisor

Weather and physical conditions

Update and adapt the fall protection plan

Fall protection emergencies

  • Perform basic fall arrest rescue to bring a casualty down
  • Before the fall
  • Fall arrest
  • Suspension
  • Interference among phases
  • Before the potential fall
  • After a fall
  • For harness rescues
  • Legislative requirements
  • Rescue techniques
  • General considerations for rescue
  • All rescue planning and operations should address the following issues
  • Types of rescue
  • General considerations for carrying out a rescue
  • General procedure for casualty recovery
  • Suspension trauma
  • Following an accident, the casualty should be
  • Specific procedures
  • Suspension Trauma
  • Signs & symptoms that may be observed in an individual who is approaching orthostatic
  • intolerance
  • Factors that can affect the degree of risk of suspension trauma
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Training
  • Rescue Procedures

Entry Level Requirements Into This Programme?

  • Certified copy of his/her ID document
  • School certificate Grade 7 (Std 5) or Skills certificate equivalent NQF Level 1
  • Be medically fit and in possession of a medical certificate, declaring him/her free from a condition that may prevent him/her from working safely at heights.

Learning Assumed To Be In Place And Recognition Of Prior Learning:

  • Communication at NQF Level 1 or equivalent
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 1 or equivalent

Target Audience

Activities performed above two meters. General workers Managers, Supervisors professionals requiring rope access, structure assemblers  performing work at heights.

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