Scaffold Netting (sometimes called “Debris Netting” or “Construction Safety Netting”) is one of the many tools used in the construction industry when working with scaffolding.
The main objective of scaffold netting is to better protect the workers and the people working around the scaffolding. This can be from debris such as dust, heat, rain, and many other hazards.
How Does Netting Protect?
Scaffold Netting protects both employees working on the construction project, along with people working around the project.
Extra Layer of Fall Protection
For the employees working on the construction project, it protects the workers by adding an extra layer of fall protection. When normal scaffolding is set up, there are guardrails and toe rails which act as barriers to protect the employees from falling. However, using scaffold netting ensures full coverage rather than just protection where the rails are located.
The netting can also protect the employees by providing shade. The amount of shade varies depending on the density of the netting. A density of approximately 60 g/m2 will provide a shade rate of approximately 25%, and when the density is increased to 215 g/m2, the shade rate can increase to approimately 60%.
This shade can protect workers when working in hot or sunny conditions.
From The Elements
Similar to the shade rate, the scaffold netting can also protect employees from the elements. In particular, the netting will reduce the wind. Shielding from the wind can significantly help workers who work outside in the colder months. This can not only protect the employees, but will make it easier to perform their tasks.
Along with protecting the workers, it can also protect the people working or walking around the structure. The netting provides a protection against any debris that may accidentally fall from the scaffolding. This could include tools, or building materials.
It can also protect passersby and the nearby surroundings during dust-intensive work, such as sandblasting. During sandblasting and other high dust-tasks, the sand is retained inside the netting and does not pollute the surrounding area.
What to Look for When Choosing Scaffold Netting
When you are deciding what scaffold netting to purchase, there are several factors that you need to consider. Most scaffold netting is made of Polyethylene or HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), with various factors.
The first would probably be whether or not it is fire retardant. You want to ensure that in the event of a fire, the netting does not act as extra kindle and become ablazen quickly. Most products sold today are fire retardant, however it is always a good point to check before purchasing.
You also need to ensure it is UV resistant. The amount of UV resistance will ultimately depend on the length of time the netting will be in place, but you do want to ensure there is some UV resistance so it can stay outside and resist the elements.
The netting also needs to have eyelets or some form of reinforcement. These eyelets help ensure the netting will last. Otherwise, if the netting is attached using random places in the netting, the chances of it ripping increases.
Some netting does not have eyelets, however the borders are reinforced. This also acts to help prevent the netting from ripping, and makes it easier to attach the netting at various parts rather than just the corners or wherever the eyelets are located.
What is the difference between horizontal and vertical?
There are two main types of scaffold netting, horizontal and vertical. As the names imply, the difference is how they are hung. Vertical netting is hung vertically, and normally prevents articles from falling below.
Horizontal is hung horizontally, and is normally hung at various heights (depending on the size of the project) and sticks out from the building or construction project. These segments serve to prevent falling objects from falling onto the ground levels below a construction site.
They can also serve to protect workers from falling from high distances, however it is important to not rely on these nets as the main source of fall protection, and instead to use proper fall protection procedures and use the horizontal netting as a backup.
Recommended Scaffold Nettings from Amazon
XTARPS MP – Mighty Products Debris Safety Net
This netting is an example of a good netting for various reasons. Firstly, it has the reinforced eyelets, which make it easy to fix the netting in place. Secondly, the edges are reinforced, which gives it an extra layer of security.
The netting is available in various sizes, ranging from 6 feet by 8 feet (1.6 meters x 2.4 meters), all the way to 20 feet by 40 feet (6.1 meters x 12.2 meters), therefore you can choose the right size for your project.
Heavy Duty White Debris Safety Netting, Scaffold Netting Fire retardant 8′ 6″ x 150′
This netting is another good netting. It is reinforced which makes it easy to attach, and it meets many health and safety requirements including OHSA.
The two colours (orange and white) are a nice feature because it increases visibility. On some construction sites, it is better that the various materials used have higher visibility.
RK Heavy Duty 4-ft x 150-ft Fire Retardant Vertical Safety Netting, High Visibility Orange
This scaffold netting is also a good choice. It is resistant to temperature changes, and acts as a fire retardant. The borders are reinforced, and it meets many specifications including OHSA.