Construction Safety Net Use Standards

Construction safety net is a kind of labor protection tool against falling injuries and is widely used in high rise building construction, roof maintenance and renovation, roof construction, bridge construction and maintenance, etc. Construction safety nets are divided into horizontal nets and vertical nets. Horizontal nets are used to block falling people and objects, avoid or reduce the damage of falling people or objects. Vertical nets are used to prevent people and objects from falling off. Growing awareness about improving construction safety has seen a significant increase in the use of construction safety nets.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting and installing construction safety nets.

Construction safety net installed on the construction walls
2 construction safety nets connected by coupling ropes
Construction Safety Net Standards & Rules

For high rise buildings or construction safety nets that are over 35 m2

BS EN 1263 standard

  • Safety nets consist of different types of ropes, including:
    • Mesh ropes: a minimum of three separate strands of rope braided in such a way that they cannot unravel;
    • Border ropes: a continuous rope that is threaded through each mesh around the perimeter of the safety net;
    • Tie ropes: fasten the safety nets to structural elements and/or anchor points on a structure;
    • Coupling ropes: joint nets together when more than one net is needed to protect an area.
  • BS EN 1263 classified nets in two ways:
    • The maximum energy absorption capacity: how much energy a net can absorb, measure in kilojoules (kJ).
      • Class A net capacity is 2.3 kJ.
      • Class B net capacity is 4.4 kJ
    • Mesh size measured in millimeters
      • Class 1 mesh size is 60 mm
      • Class 2 mesh size is 100 mm

Notes: Both classes A1 (2.3 kJ energy absorption capacity and 60 mm mesh size) and A2 nets (2.3 kJ energy absorption capacity and 100 mm mesh size) are suitable for safety net systems. Class A2 nets are most commonly used as the larger mesh size is lighter and has less initial sag.

For residential construction or construction safety nets that are less than 35 m2

BS EN 1263 applies only to safety nets that are over 35 m2 and where the shortest side is at least 5.0 m. On residential construction, individual safety nets are seldom 35 m2 or greater. Therefore, specific recommendations for safety nets that are less than 35 m2 include:

  • The fall height should be no more than 2 m;
  • A class B net with 4.4 kJ energy absorption capacity should be used;
  • Do not stored materials below the net in the clearance distance (sufficient clearance needs to be maintained);
  • Consider brace replacement to maintain clearances;
  • The net should have an initial sag of about 5% –10% of the shortest side of the net.
  • Tensile strength
    • Border rope: It should have a minimum tensile strength of 30 kN, and be tested according to BS EN 1263-1, clause 7.5.
    • Tie rope: It should have a minimum tensile strength of 30 kN, and be tested according to BS EN 1263-1, clause 7.5.
    • Coupling rope: It should have a minimum tensile strength of 7.5 kN, and be tested according to BS EN 1263-1, clause 7.5.
Construction safety net installed on the high rise building
How to Use Construction Safety Net Correctly?
  • Safety nets must be installed below where works at height is taken place:
    • If the building height is over 4 m, a safety net that gradually rises as the wall goes high must be set. Set a safety net every 4 m and then fix it firmly.
  • Safety nets shall be installed lower inside and higher outside.
    • The height difference of the outside part shall be about 50 cm;
    • The supports shall be free from breakage or bending;
    • The clearance between the inner wall and the wall shall be less than 15cm;
    • The distance between the net lowest point and the object surface below shall be greater than 3 m.
  • Supports needed during safety net installation.
    • The smaller diameter of the timber support shall not less than 7 cm;
    • The smaller diameter of the bamboo support shall not less than 8 cm;
    • The distance between supports shall not greater than 4 m.
  • Check if the safety net is corroded or damaged before using.
    • During the construction, the safety net shall be intact and effective, support configuration shall be arranged reasonable with uniform load distribution. No debris shall be found in the net.
    • Overlapping shall be tight and firm and no gaps shall be left. The installed safety net shall not be removed or damaged during the construction. It can be removed only when all works at height are finished.
    • If the installed safety net must be temporarily removed due to construction needs, the construction unit must inform of and seek the consent of the installer before removing it.
    • When the construction is finished, the construction unit must restore the safety net immediately as required and the safety net can be used only when the installer checked and confirmed the safety net installation is qualified.
  • Routine maintenance and inspection
    • Clean the debris in the net regularly. When welding is performed above the net, effective measures must be taken to prevent welding sparks from falling on the net.
    • No serious acid or alkali smog is allowed to be existed around the net for a long time.
    • The safety net must be checked regularly when using. Fill in the track records and deal with the unqualified safety net timely.
    • When the safety net is not in use, store it properly to prevent it from moisture and mildew.
  • Check the product name tag before using a new safety net.
    • On the nameplate, it indicate the safety net is a vertical net or a horizontal net. The two kinds of net cannot be confused. The vertical nets cannot be used as horizontal nets.
  • Manufacturer production license
    • If the product factory certificate indicates the safety net is old safety net, test the net before use. It can only be used when it comes with a qualified test report.
A worker is installing the construction safety net.
Installation Regulations
  • On the safety net, every tie rope shall be tied to the support and all border ropes shall be installed closely to the support. The tie shall be easily made firmly connected and will not loosened after applying a force. The safety net with tendon rope, tendon ropes must be connected with the support during installation.
  • The horizontal nets shall not be tensioned too much. If the height between the net and the operation place is over 5 m, the extended length shall be greater than 4 m; If the height is less than 5 m, the extended length shall be greater than 3 m. The minimum distance between the net and the object surface shall be not less than 3 m and the distance between 2 safety nets shall not greater than 10 m.
  • The vertical net shall be perpendicular to the plane and the maximum clearance to the working surface edge shall not be greater than 10 cm
  • Installation personnel: Only FASET certified personnel can be used to install the safety net.