RR835 - Evaluation of safety nets by experiment
Safety nets have become a common means of providing collective protection, particularly in construction, to mitigate the effects of falls where it is impractical to use temporary edge protection. The reason for carrying out the research was to explore issues where there was doubt/concern about the performance of safety nets and their attachments. This research evaluated the effectiveness of safety nets, as used in the UK, to identify the risk (if any) of premature failure, in less than ideal conditions that could occur in the use. A series of non-ideal loading conditions involving a range of variables were conducted. These included:
- net type;
- different impact locations (ie edge and corner);
- attachment point spacing;
- repeated dynamic loading at one position in the net;
- multiple falls;
- effect of sag in the net and industry practice to control sag;
- presence of defects;
- effect of differently shaped objects falling into net; and
- effects of aging and degradation from ongoing service damage and the effectiveness of test meshes in monitoring degradation.
The UK safety net industry supported the research by providing nets.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
Assistance in the use of Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our FAQs page.