Is Guardrail Netting Required?
Yes guardrail netting is required at construction sites per the requirement of OSHA 1926.500-Subpart M. It requires guardrail and toeboard systems on open-sided floors, platforms, runways, wall openings, holes, roofs, excavations, and machinery areas. Also if you have any equipment or materials which are higher than the top edge of the toeboard then the debris netting have to be installed from the top of the railing up to the deck level to provide protection overhead. These prevent debris from falling on by standards and workers below. The debris safety netting supplied by Alco will satisfy OSHA requirements for mid-rail and toeboard fall protection. This netting functions as a guardrail system with the additional benefit of blocking materials from falling to a lower level—not however for use in fall protection applications.
What’s the difference between OSHA and ANSI?
OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Act) was put into law in 1970 as a method for federal legislation to help prevent the thousands of deaths that had been occurring on job sites. OSHA is in place to ensure to the greatest extent possible, a safe and healthy workplace. This is accomplished by requiring compliance with the guidelines which are in the Code of Federal Regulations.
ANSI (American National Standards Institute) essentially sets the standards and OSHA enforces them. It is an Institute of approximately 1,000 companies, organizations, government agencies and international members.
Can you install safety nets to handrails?
Safety nets must never be attached to handrails unless they have been designed to take a minimum 6kN load at 45 degrees to the vertical.
When are safety nets required?
Safety nets shall be provided when workplaces are more than 25 feet above the ground or water surface, or other surfaces where the use of ladders, scaffolds, catch platforms, temporary floors, safety lines, or safety belts is impractical.
How often should safety nets be tested?
All safety nets used for fall arrest must be subjected to an annual test of the energy absorption capacity of the net. When new, a safety net will normally be supplied with three test meshes loosely attached to the safety net. At no more than 12 month periods a test mesh will be taken off and tested. Where the test mesh exceeds the minimum energy absorption capacity stated by the manufacturer, then the nets may remain in service for a further period not exceeding 12 months. Where the energy absorption capacity falls below the level stated by the manufacturer, then the net must be removed from service and destroyed.
Are safety nets suitable on my project?
When thinking about the netting, consider how and where they will be attached below the work area. Safety netting is most suited to steel or timber framed buildings where the nets can easily be attached.
What type of attachment is appropriate for safety nets?
Forged steel safety hooks or shackles shall be used to fasten the net to its supports.
How far should safety nets extend?
Nets shall extend 8 feet beyond the edge of the work surface where employees are exposed and shall be installed as close under the work surface as practical but in no case more than 25 feet below such work surface. Nets shall be hung with sufficient clearance to prevent user’s contact with the surfaces or structures below. Such clearances shall be determined by impact load testing.
What is the largest acceptable mesh size for safety nets?
The mesh size of nets shall not exceed 6 inches by 6 inches. All new nets shall meet accepted performance standards of 17,500 foot-pounds minimum impact resistance as determined and certified by the manufacturers, and shall bear a label of proof test. Edge ropes shall provide a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds.