Fall Arrest Netting Saves Lives – Rules For Proper Use

06 / 17 / 2014 | Safety Articles | Ryan Michels

Last month in the Hinckley Times a 45 year old construction worker was reported to have fallen off of a roof after being hit by a pallet that was in motion. Luckily the site had fall arrest equipment in place which arrested the man’s fall and he suffered only leg injuries.

Sometimes the best choice for fall protection is industrial safety netting. In the case of personnel fall protection there are, as usual, some strict legal safety requirements that must be followed. The netting must be installed as close as is reasonable to the working/walking surface but should never be more than 30 feel below said surface. If the netting is being used in bridge construction the area the fall path must be unobstructed the entire way.

It is also important to note that all netting must be weight tested to account for the weight of the falling person and their momentum. This weight testing requirement is 400 lbs or 180 kg and it should be drop-tested with a bag of sand to ensure the net’s reliability and that no contact with the surface below or any outhanging surface will interrupt the fall. It should also be noted that this testing must be performed at the start of every job, after any major repairs, whenever a net is relocated and after every 6 months if the netting stays in one place.

Don’t forget that when safety netting is used for personnel safety the nets shall be inspected at least once a week for wear, damage, and other deterioration and all records of testing, safety, and reliability must be available for inspection on each job site.

There are many places in which fall arrest netting is a great option for safety. Some of the places we’ve installed it include warehouses, bridges, construction yards for debris catching, and as racking and barrier protection. Contact W.S. Safety Technologies today to discuss your fall protection needs.

About the author

Ryan Michels Ryan has been involved in the design and installation of custom fall protection systems with W.S. Safety Technologies since 2005. Ryan is a specialist in the different types of products, applications, and regulatory codes governing proper design and use of fall protection systems.

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