WORKING AT HEIGHT IN AN INCREASINGLY TALLER WORLD
The South African Occupational Health and Safety Act determines that all persons working at height must be trained to be competent in working at height. This includes the correct use and maintenance of safety equipment and protective clothing used at heights as well as the development of fall protection plans that cover matters such as training, equipment, procedures and methodology to address fall risks.
Fear of Heights (Acrophobia)
Acrophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of heights that can be quite severe; even becoming a fear of losing touch with the ground. It is a debilitating anxiety disorder that affects almost 1 in every 20 adults.
Individuals having the fear of heights generally overestimate vertical distances significantly and the stronger their fear, the worse they distort height estimates. If a sufferer sees a 15-metre building, as if it were 50 metres tall, he responds like a person who is not a sufferer would, to a 50-metre structure.
In a society that battles high unemployment, employers must be particularly careful not to employ people suffering from acrophobia to work at heights. Candidates for employment who may or may not be aware of their fears are more likely to hide it from potential employer in order to find work or to “get a foot in the door”.
CPRD can assist you with assessing candidates for a Fear of Heights (Acrophobia).
Contact us today for more information.