In construction projects and, above all, in the field of work that must be carried out at a significant level of height, we should not only look at personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, it is important to take into account collective security. To do this, there are different methods and systems whose purpose is to ensure the integrity of workers and contribute directly to the prevention of possible risks during its implementation. In this sense, one of the most used security systems today are the so-called security networks. Indispensable elements in all types of constructions and works, which according to Law 31/95 on the Prevention of Occupational Risks, must even take precedence over resources intended for individual protection.
If you regularly follow our blog, you will already know many details about the individual safety equipment. But what about these construction site safety nets? We tell you in a more detailed way what they are, what they are for and what types of safety nets exist.
What are construction safety nets?
Safety nets are elements intended for collective protection, unlike mandatory PPE, which are individual. Their main mission is to guarantee maximum safety for workers and cover the risk of possible falls. They are designed to secure both workers and the elements or tools used by them.
Within the construction sector, they have become essential resources during the execution of a work, presenting a wide range of uses and applications: in roof assembly, as railings for gaps and openings, on facades with or without gallows, etc.
Safety nets must have the necessary surface to cover any possible danger zone, regardless of its size, covering all possible spaces and leaving no gaps. In addition, they must present a resistance high enough to stop the impact of a person.
Types of safety nets on construction sites
To make a correct classification we must know, first of all, what objective we seek with the installation of safety nets: if we want to prevent people or objects from falling, we will have to opt for prevention or vertical nets; If we want to limit the fall of people or objects, then we will resort to protection or collection nets.
Depending on its location or mode of use, we find the following subtypes of safety nets:
- Horizontal safety nets, usually used to protect roofs.
- Vertical nets, used as possible railings in openings and gaps.
- Vertical nets, frequently used during the construction of facades.
Safety net systems used on construction sites
Although there are various types of safety nets with different characteristics and designed based on their usefulness, if we look at the UNE EN 1263-1 and 1263-2 Standards in force since 2018, we mainly distinguish four safety net systems on construction sites:
Type S safety net
It is a type of horizontal safety net with a perimeter and reusable rope, used to protect workers against falls from different levels on roofs, covering gaps, etc. They are highly versatile and therefore can also be used in wooden constructions, metal roofs or prefabricated concrete; among other cases.
T type safety net
In this case, we are talking about passive safety nets, also with perimeter rope, and reusable. They are usually anchored to guide cables on supports fixed to the concrete. They are used to protect workers from falls at different levels and are initially installed on the first floor, to be raised as work is carried out at a greater height.
U type safety net
Also known as railing net, these safety nets are normally used as a protection system located on the edges of an element and attached to a structure for vertical use. For example, they are used as lateral protection on roofs or bridges and, their fundamental objective, is to serve as an anti-fall element for workers.
V type safety net
Type of safety net with a perimeter rope that is attached at the top to a support by means of a rope and, at the bottom, to the structure to which it will be anchored. These safety nets are fundamentally used as collective security elements in reinforced concrete structures (for example, buildings or facades) and aim to ensure optimal performance of work in areas near the edges of the building, closing gaps and creating complete coverage.