10.1 - Safety nets

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10.1.1 Control

SMD safety net stock, in excess of 50,000m², is managed, repaired, maintained and tested by our fully trained stores teams located at our Logistic Centres in the Midlands (Nottingham) and Scotland (Coatbridge).

In addition to 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 these safety critical nets are kept to the highest standard and ready for issue to site as required.

10.1.2 Safety net installation

When choosing a fall arrest system, the use of nets must be planned; consideration must be given to the following:

Fixing Points

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.

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.

NOTE: Safety netting must not be fixed to secondary steelwork such as scaffold handrails or cladding rails.


Storey heights

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)

Example: For a net with a shortest span of 6m: 2m + (6m/5) = 3.2m floor minimum storey height


Installation methods

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).

Rope access is a suitable method for safety net installation where storey heights exceed 4.5m and MEWP access is not possible. It should be noted that the Rope access technique is considerably more time consuming and will therefore impact on both programme and cost.

Note: In some circumstances MEWP’s may be required when working below 4.5m. Unless MEWP's have been specifically requested the standard Net pole and claw technique should be used.

De-rigging nets:

Nets can be de-rigged in the same ways in which they are rigged, dependent on the storey heights and the site requirements.

Nets must not be de-rigged until the decking sheets are 100% fixed into place and stitched together, or on to floors that have had studs welded as this creates multiple snagging points once the nets have been lowered.

Safety netting must be de-rigged prior to any welding operations as the weld splatter will burn through and damage nets.

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Need Further Guidance?

Contact us on +44 (0)1202 718 898 or email our Technical Team