Every employer and employee that knows that work is being done off the ground, has to be aware of the relevant safety regulations.  The General Safety Regulations of the OHS Act 85 of 1993 contains the following: (GSR 6 & 13A)

Work in elevated positions

No employer shall require or permit any person to work in an elevated position, and no person shall work in an elevated position, unless such work is performed safely from a ladder or scaffolding, or from a position where such person has been made as safe as if he were working from scaffolding.

Additional to this, herewith a summary of some safety regulations regarding scaffolding:

1. Use Proper Safety Equipment

2. Mind Load Limits

3. Know Relevant Regulations and Standards

4. Inspect Scaffolding Materials

5. Build Properly

6. Inspect the Site and Equipment—Again

7. Keep Vehicles and Heavy Equipment Clear

8. Stay Organized

9. Mind the Weather

10. Be Fully Licensed

11. Climb Responsibly


1.    An employer shall ensure that every ladder is constructed of sound material and is suitable for the purpose for which it is used, and –

a)   is fitted with non-skid devices at the bottom ends and hooks or similar devices at the upper ends of the stiles which shall ensure the stability of the ladder during normal use; or;

b)    is so lashed, held or secured whilst being used as to ensure the stability of the ladder under all conditions and at all times.

2.    No employer shall use a ladder, or permit it to be used, if it –

a)   has rungs fastened to the stiles only by means of nails, screws, spikes or in like manner; or

b) has rungs which have not been properly let into the stiles: Provided that in the case of welded ladder or ladders of which the rungs are bolted or riveted to the stiles, the rungs need not be let into the sides; or

c)    has damaged stiles, or damaged or missing rungs.

3.    No employer may permit that –

a)    a ladder which is required to be leaned against an object for support be used which is longer than 9 m; and

b)    except with the approval of an inspector, the reach of a ladder be extended by fastening together two or more ladders: Provided that the provisions of this subregulation shall not apply to extension of free-standing ladders.

4.    In the case of wooden ladders the employer shall ensure that –

a)    the ladders are constructed of straight grained wood, free from defects, and with the grain running in the length of the stiles and rungs; and

b)    the ladders are not painted or covered in any manner, unless it has been established that there are no cracks or other inherent weaknesses: Provided that ladders may be treated with oil or covered with clear varnish or wood preservative.

5.         When work is done from a ladder, the employer shall –

a)         take special precautionary measures to prevent articles from falling off; and

b)         provide suitable sheaths or receptacles in which hand tools shall be kept when not being used.

6.         An employer shall ensure that a fixed ladder which exceeds 5 m in length and is attached to a vertical structure with an inclination to the horizontal level of 75 or more –

a)         has its rungs at least 150 mm away from the structure to which the ladder is attached; and

b)         is provided with a cage which –

i)         extends from a point not exceeding 2.5 m from the lower level to a height of at least 900 mm above the top level served by the ladder; and

ii)        shall afford firm support along its whole length for the back of the person climbing the ladder, and for which purpose no part of the cage shall be more than 700 mm away from the level of the rungs:

Provided that the foregoing provisions of paragraph (b) shall not apply if platforms, which are spaced not more than 8 m apart and suitable for persons to rest on, are provided.