Fall Arrest

In our industry, working at height is unavoidable. SMD take all precautions to improve the safety of staff working on site. In accordance with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, SMD ensures the appropriate fall arrest system is installed to minimise the distance and consequence of a fall.

Supply & Installation of Safety Netting

Safety nets are the most commonly used passive safety solution when installing metal deck on steel structures. This fall arrest system is a quick and reliable safety solution that can be utilised on almost all steel-framed construction sites.


With a large stock of company-owned nets readily available, and a team of FASET trained operatives all with CSCS blue skills cards and IPAF certification, SMD are able to facilitate in excess of 50,000m2 of netting installation per week.

The safety critical nature of this service is backed up by a unique visual ID tag attached to the net, all nets carry an RFID tag which is linked to our net management software ensuring net location, test date and required maintenance is logged and maintained in a central system. This ensures the safety nets are kept to the highest standard and ready for issue to site when required.

safety netting

Nets are hung from the underside of steel beams, and are installed prior to commencement of deck installation. The fall arrest system is left in place until all floor or roof deck items are safely installed and it is safe to remove them from the underside of the area.

Safety nets are only suitable as a collective passive form of fall prevention where suitable fixing points with a proven load strength of 6kN are provided. Typically, this takes the form of a primary steel frame or anchored fixings into a concrete core or wall.

fall arrest

There are a number of recognised methods for installing safety nets that are approved by FASET. The preferred method will depend on numerous factors such as storey height, ground condition, site-specific rules etc.

The recommended methods are:

  • Storey heights 3.0 – 4.5m
  • Net pole and claw with the occasional use of ladders

Storey height in excess of 4.5m

  • MEWP or rope access technique.

The use of a MEWP (mobile elevated working platform) is preferable, however there are instances where this may not be suitable (ie. where use of a MEWP would mean extending the boom through more than one floor of steel work or poor/restricted access for MEWP’s).


Safety nets are usually only suitable for floor heights in excess of 3m. The floor below must be clear of all possible obstructions or protrusions. When planning safety netting, reference should be made to the deflection chart within FASET guidance. As a general rule the storey height in metres should be a minimum of: 2 + (shortest span of the nets in metres / 5).


Where deck spans are designed such that pre-propping is required (temporary props in place prior to installation), a different method of fall arrest may be more appropriate due to the logistical issues for net installation and removal caused by the temporary props.


Safety nets protect workers on construction sites, preventing serious injury and death through the following benefits:


  • Allows workers to move freely (unlike personal harness options where movement is limited).
  • Provides collective protection for all work and movement within the work area.
  • Nets provides a soft landing as opposed to a harness solution, with no risk of suspension trauma.
  • Avoids complicated rescue operations as the fallen site operative can simply climb out of the net.
  • Where safety nets are not practical or permissible, safety airbags, also known as air cushion systems, can be installed by fully-trained operatives.


Head to our TGN Online further guidance on this topic, click here

VoidSafe Protection System

To help improve site safety, floor level access and logistics, our VoidSafe Protection System can be easily implemented into small voids when installing floor decking to any given area. Not only does VoidSafe cover voids during construction, but it also offers fall protection for the lifetime of the building use.

Contact our Sales Team for quotes or arrange a meet regarding your requirements