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Health And Safety In Construction


Perhaps you are new to the construction industry or you’re an employer looking at health and safety guidelines for a large new project. Whatever the case, remember that managing health and safety doesn’t have to be complex or costly. If you are taking reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to workers, then you are doing the right thing. Here are some basic tips and rules on health and safety in construction.

Table of contents:

    Choosing A Competent Person

    As an employer, you must choose a competent person to help you carry out your health and safety duties. But who is a competent person?

    It’s a member of your team who has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety.

    For example, if you are working at height near a fall hazard which cannot be avoided, then you need a competent person to set up the fall arrest equipment. You would not choose an apprentice or someone who has never used the equipment before to make it safe for everyone else! A lot of this is common sense.

    Communicate Health And Safety With Your Team

    If you get everyone on board with your health and safety plans, it will be a lot easier and safer to carry out. Start by writing a health and safety policy that everyone can follow. It doesn’t have to be a long essay. Just the main points about how to keep safe while working on site.

    For example, perhaps every worker has to come in the same entrance and leave at the same exit. Maybe they must wear helmets and high visibility clothing at all times while on the construction site. Perhaps personal protective equipment should be stored in a specific place.

    Communicate your policy with employees and everyone will know what they are meant to be doing safely on site.

    Risk Assessment At Construction Planning Stages

    When you are planning the job in the first place, you will look at the entire site and make a risk assessment.

    According to the health and safety executive, the law doesn’t require you to remove all risks. You can’t predict or anticipate risks that might never happen! However, the law requires you to control risks as far as reasonable practicable.

    Therefore, if you are working at height, you need fall protection measures in place. If you are removing heavy debris from the site, you may need debris netting as well as bulk bags and cable ties.

    Or perhaps you are using heavy machinery to lift objects or clear sites. You must ensure the machinery is working properly and safe to use.

    If you don’t know where to start with a risk assessment, just take a walk around the site and note down any dangers or hazards that you identify. You can then use a risk assessment template from the internet to fill in the rest. Specifically concentrate on risks that may cause harm or serious injury. Then take measures to control these risks.

    Don’t forget, that sites can change over time. You may have new personnel or different equipment. It’s essential that you carry out a new risk assessment if there are any significant changes.

    Working at Height Health And Safety

    Working at height is a high risk activity and something that cannot be avoided on a construction site.

    For some tasks there are strict guidelines required by law. Working at height or working with chemicals or dangerous substances are higher risk. Therefore you will need further safety protection equipment.

    The health and safety executive website will guide you here as to exactly what you need to do to carry out this work legally.

    When it comes to working at height, your team are at risk of falling. As you are responsible for controlling this risk, you need the correct fall protection equipment in place. Some jobs may only require collective equipment such as guard rails to keep workers away from the fall hazard. However, if the job requires a worker to carry out a task on a fragile surface, then you will need a fall arrest system such as a safety bag or net.

    What Is A Fall Arrest System in Construction

    A fall arrest system is a final safety measure while working at height. Depending on the job, it may not be necessary for your project. Installing a fall arrest system such as a safety bag requires a competent person and a legal fall recovery plan. The fall arrest system protects a person from the worst case scenario. They are already falling from height and heading for the floor. A fall safety bag will absorb the impact of the fall and reduce any serious harm or injury.

    Then, there needs to be a fall recovery plan in place to safely retrieve the fallen person from the bag and to safety.

    Provide Effective Health And Safety Training

    It’s also your duty as an employer to provide ongoing and effective training to your team. You need to ensure that your employees have the skills and knowledge they need for working safely on a construction site.

    You might use methods such as the policy mentioned earlier in this article. Or face to face training through regular meetings. Once the site is safe, perhaps you can take your team on a walk through the site looking at areas of risk.

    Don’t forget, if it’s a simple job, you don’t need to spend lots of time on technical training. Sometimes simple instructions will work. For the more complex jobs, you may require more explanation. However, when it comes to using fall arrest systems, then legally you need proper training in place for the person who is responsible for setting it up.

    Conclusion: Health and Safety In Construction

    To conclude, there’s a lot of common sense when it comes to health and safety in construction. But equally, you don’t want to miss an obvious risk or hazard.

    Identify the risks of the site and the job and then make sure you communicate these with your team. Consider the public as well who may be walking under or near the site. Choose the appropriate safety equipment and write a health and safety plan for everyone to follow.

    Give your team the appropriate level of training to ensure that everyone stays safe while working on site.

    If you need safety equipment including debris netting, cable ties or bulk bags, then get in touch with to buy products for your site.

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    Debris Netting For Scaffolding


    If you work in construction, you will already understand why safety is important when using scaffolding. Scaffolding is a temporary structure which allows people to carry out jobs while working at height. As a structure, it’s built using different materials such as metal or wood along with pipes, tubes, couplers and boards. As construction personnel work in all kinds of weather, safety is paramount. This is why debris netting for scaffolding is extremely useful.

    Table of contents:

      What Is Debris Netting

      You can think of debris netting as being a bit like a windbreaker on the beach. It’s made from durable, heavy duty plastic to protect workers from wind, rain and dust as they carry out tasks. In addition to this, the material still allows air to circulate when working behind the netting. So overall improving the working environment and safety for personnel.

      What Is Scaffold Netting Made Of

      Scaffold netting is made from a variety of materials, including plastic and nylon. Generally speaking, the most popular choice of material is polypropylene because it’s light and flexible.

      As well as this, polypropylene contains UV inhibitors which help to protect the material from the sun’s radiation. Therefore, another benefit to scaffolding netting is that it helps to protect workers from the bright sun.

      Furthermore, debris netting is usually green so it’s highly visible to workers. It also makes it easier to see and avoid for the public below.

      Risk Of Falling Objects

      If you think about a construction site, you’ll know that a lot of debris needs removing. Particularly if a site is being demolished. From bricks to tubes, concrete and glass, the materials are often heavy and dangerous.

      The main benefit to debris netting is that it protects people below from any falling debris. Accidents happen on site which can have dangerous consequences. For example, a brick that falls onto someone below can cause serious injury. But there’s also the chance that you might drop a screwdriver, a box of nails or something much smaller that can still cause damage.

      If this is the case, you can place a fine mesh liner within the stronger debris netting weave in order to catch smaller objects.

      Where To Put Debris Netting

      On a construction site, there are many risks to personnel. From working at height, to lifting heavy loads and working close to moving machinery. Therefore debris netting can come in useful in many areas.

      For example, if you’re working close to heavy machinery or servicing the equipment, then debris netting is useful. It will stop any rubbish falling into the machinery while you are servicing or using it. Perhaps you don’t think you need it. But it will provide that extra level of protection when working near a potential hazard.

      Additionally, you can use debris netting with scaffolding when working near a main road where the public walk. Perhaps the building you are working on overhangs onto the pathway. You’ll need appropriate signage, high visibility scaffolding and safety zones as well as debris netting in order to protect the public below.

      Is Scaffold Netting Easy To Use

      It’s important that all safety equipment you use on site is looked after and properly set up so it achieves its purpose.

      For example, with scaffold debris netting, you must ensure that you fix it securely, as it could cause a danger if it breaks or partially removes in high winds. Most scaffold netting comes with cable ties to fix onto the structure.

      You can buy debris netting and cable ties from QubeUK who sell netting in a pack of 2m by 50m. A single pack is £29.99. You can also buy packs of 5, 10 or 40 depending on how big the project is.

      What Is Scaffold Sheeting

      Scaffold netting is easy to set up and cost effective. But it’s not necessarily attractive! If you are working on a big project for a large brand, then you might want to consider scaffold sheeting.

      For example, perhaps you are working on a very famous building or one near an area of beauty. But it still needs to be made safe. The scaffold sheeting, or ‘building wraps’ can be painted to look like the building underneath so it presents a high quality image. Alternatively, you can use it as an advertising tool for your business.

      Whereas scaffold netting is typically just available in a high visibility green.

      However, bear in mind that scaffold sheeting will cost a lot more money than scaffold netting.

      Health And Safety on A Construction Site

      Debris netting is just one element of safety protection on a construction site. There are many health and safety regulations to follow and this will all be part of the planning stages of any construction project.

      The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out general duties which apply to all workplaces including construction sites.

      Taking employers for example. They have a duty to safeguard their employees and the public. Hence, installing debris netting for scaffolds is part of the duty to protect the public as well as workers below.

      Section 4 of the act includes a duty to ensure the premises are safe. Therefore, the safety of the scaffolding and the correct use of equipment is part of this too.

      Meanwhile, employees have a duty to take reasonable care. Meaning they must use the equipment correctly and not endanger themselves or others by taking unnecessary risks.

      Conclusion: Debris Netting For Scaffolding

      In summary, debris netting is one section of health and safety protection when working at height. Its main purpose is to protect people below from being hit by falling debris or by other objects that may accidentally fall while working at height.

      Additionally, there are further benefits to debris netting, as it helps to protect workers from the elements while working outside. And it helps to prevent dust and other particles from getting in the way.

      If you need to buy debris netting for your project, then contact QubeUK who can give you further advice and options for the amount of netting you might need. Go to

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      How To Use Cable Ties

      Cable Ties

      Cable ties are also known as zip ties, wire ties or tie wraps, depending on the purpose. They’re useful in many industries such as construction, transportation, home improvement and many others. In this brief guide, you will learn how to use cable ties correctly in your projects.

      Table of contents:

        What Are Cable Ties For?

        Basically, cable ties are a quick and easy way to bundle objects together, mostly electrical cables and wires. They are also useful to secure debris netting or hold tarpaulins.

        Several industries use them, including car manufacturing, building and construction, electronics, agriculture, consumer goods and industrial companies. This is mainly because they are so easy to use and help solve the problem of bringing objects together.

        Useful Properties

        Cable ties have a number of properties in the material which is why they are so useful. To start with, they are typically made from premium nylon. The nylon material offers high tensile strength, toughness and the capacity to withstand high temperatures.

        Secondly, the basic version is black in colour. This is because black is the best colour to use with exposure to sunlight, as it provides UV protection. Hence the design makes them ideal for horticulture and gardening purposes.

        Cable Ties From QUBE UK

        Cable ties from QUBE UK are black and made from premium nylon. Each one measures 30cm in length and comes in a pack of 100. The cable ties are suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. Moreover, QUBE UK will post them out for free within the UK.

        How to Use Cable Ties

        Essentially, cable ties are easy to use and versatile. Basic ones are made with a flexible tape section with teeth. The teeth then link with a pawl in the head to form a ratchet. When you pull the free end of the tape section, the cable tie tightens.

        So when you are using it, start by making a loop by putting the head through the slot. Then, pull the cable through until you get the loop size you want. Now, pull it tight and get the teeth to engage, this is locking it in place.

        If it’s too short for the job, join two together by putting the tapered end of one into the jaw of the other until it links the teeth. Cut off any extra tail and it will create a longer version.

        How Long Do They Last?

        Generally speaking, cable ties last around 5 years. The material is made to resist environmental factors such as dust and moisture. Cable ties from QUBE UK include UV stability, zero halogen and a UL flammability rating of 94V.2. Therefore they are ideal for longer term use.

        However, a basic one is a single use device. There are alternative speciality versions for multiple use as you can see further on in this article.

        How To Cut Cable Ties

        As they are mostly made for single use, the best way to release it is to cut it instead of trying to untie it.

        Many people use a utility knife and put it into the slot near the head and then keep cutting through. The danger with this is that you may cut through a wire or other object that you have been protecting.

        Also, as they are hard wearing, they can be quite difficult to just cut through. If using a knife, be careful how you are cutting away from you. Or you could use pliers. Take the cable tie in the jaws of the pliers and twist to loosen any tension. It should then come away in one piece.

        A Brief History

        Originally, cable ties were made by an electrical manufacturing company in America in 1958. The basic design hasn’t changed much since then. They were invented to use in the aviation industry, to solve the problem of bundling hundreds of feet of wiring together.

        Now they are useful anywhere, from port industries, to construction and horticulture.

        Different Types Of Cable Ties

        QUBEUK currently offer the basic type of cable tie, heavy duty and versatile in black nylon and useful for many purposes.

        However there are different types available depending on the job you are doing. Here are three examples.


        Releasable cable ties can have multiple uses. This makes them ideal for using if you intend to add new wires of materials to your bundle or project as you progress. They include a lever or button and come in different colours.

        Mounted Head

        Mounted head cable ties include a mounting hole. This allows it to be fastened by a screw. Then it can be fixed to a vehicle chassis or wall.


        The self adhesive style is ideal for tasks where you need to fix something quickly by hand. They take away the need for a separate cradle.

        Conclusion: How To Use Cable Ties

        In summary, you can see how useful cable ties are, particularly when it comes to holding wires together and keeping them out of the way. The durable material of nylon makes them hard wearing and long lasting and the additional black colour protects from UV rays.

        Moreover, they are easy to use and great for a number of projects. How about using them to train your plants or tomatoes in your garden? Or you could use them to child proof your kitchen cupboards at home to stop little hands opening doors. Or maybe use them to protect the zips on suitcases when travelling.

        If you need some useful cable ties, have a look at the QUBE UK website and order some today, at

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        What Are Bulk Bags?

        What Are Bulk Bags

        If you work in the construction industry, you’ll know that there are plenty of heavy materials that you need to move or take away. From bricks, to cement, sand and fertilisers, what is the best way to move these heavy items? This is where Bulk Bags provide a useful answer. The material is sturdy and durable, ideal for shifting heavy objects safely. But what are bulk bags specifically and when do you need them?

        Table of contents:

          What Are Bulk Bags Made From

          Bulk bags are usually white and made of woven polypropylene which is one of the most commonly used thermoplastics in the world. Polypropylene is a useful material for plastic packaging, plastic parts for equipment and even fibres and textiles. Its durable and long lasting properties make it an excellent material for bulk bags. Furthermore, the threads intertwine which increases the strength and durability of the bags.

          What Is FIBC?

          With lots of different versions on the market, how do you know which one to choose? QUBEUK offer the Bulk Bag FIBC for sale from their website. FIBC stands for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container. Essentially, these bulk bags have handles which makes them easier to move around and carry.

          You can also fold them down and carry them to where you need them, because they are made from such a flexible material. As well as this, you can fix them down to stop them moving during shipping or transport.

          The Benefits Of Bulk Bags

          Of course, you can use other ways to carry or move heavy loads, but there are many benefits including;

          • Their load bearing strength, you can carry a heavy weight across short distances.
          • They take up less space than other containers so you can store bulk safely.
          • Also, they come with handles so you can move them easily.
          • And bulk bags are lightweight, making them easier to use than heavier containers.
          • They can carry different bulk safely, from materials to liquids.

          How Much Do Bulk Bags Cost

          At QUBEUK, you can buy a single FIBC bulk bag for £6.90 and a pack of 2 will cost £12.80. QUBEUK also offer a pack of 5 at £22.53 or a pack of 10 at £36.05. You can also buy in packs of 20, 50 and 100 or in bulk at 250 or 500.

          Why Choose QUBE UK

          QUBE UK is a company specialising in the supply of cable ties, debris netting and bulk bags. Products which are essential in the construction industry, as well as useful for many other industries. The products are designed with safety and ease of use in mind, such as high visibility aspects to the debris netting and bulk bags. As well as handles for the bulk bags to make them easier to carry.

          Safe Handling Guidelines

          As bulk bags contain heavy materials which need lifting or moving, there are safe handling guidelines in place for workers. According to the National Bulk Bag’s Official FIBC Safety Guide, you should;

          • Make sure there is no damage to your bag that could impact its strength
          • If there’s an option to discharge the material from the bottom of the bag, make sure this is properly secure before filling.
          • Ensure that the bag you are using works with the product you are packing, such as dangerous goods or hazardous material.
          • Fill the bag evenly
          • Ensure the bag remains stable at all times
          • Look at the handles or lift loops, make sure they are vertical to prevent damage
          • If you are using a device such as a forklift to lift or support the bag, make sure the equipment is rated sufficiently to do this.
          • Also, make sure the crane or forklift is free of any sharp edges which could tear the bag.
          • Raise and lower bags smoothly
          • Comply with all the supplier’s recommendations and instructions.

          When using bulk bags, there are also things you should never do, including;

          • fill a bag with a product or material that’s not meant for that particular bag. Such as a hazardous or dangerous material.
          • never exceed the safe working load of the bag.
          • do not allow anyone to place anything under a suspended bag
          • don’t suspend a bag that hasn’t got an approved safety latch
          • never handle a bag that is damaged without talking to your supplier

          Safety With 5:1 FIBC

          All bulk bags from QUBE UK have a 5:1 safety rating factor. This means that they can hold five times the amount of their safe work load. However, although it holds this rating, 5:1 is a maximum amount and workers should not fill the bulk bag to that extent.

          Furthermore, the bulk bags from QUBE UK are made specifically for a single trip. So after one use, they are no longer safe and you should replace them.

          Bulk Bag Risks

          As you can see, there are many benefits to using bulk bags and they are safe as long as you handle them correctly. With this in mind, you should always follow the guidelines set out by your company’s safety guide.

          In some situations, bulk bags may fall over if they are not stable. If they contain hazardous material, this can be extremely dangerous. Another risk is that they could get caught up in machinery which is being used to move them around. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the machinery which risk catching or tearing a bag accidentally.

          Conclusion : What Are Bulk Bags

          In summary, bulk bags are useful in all sorts of industries, not just construction. In food, their flexibility makes them useful for moving powders and grain. Chemicals and Pharmaceutical industries use them to transport material. Other examples include paint, pet food, coffee and tea, small plastics, wood and paper and even sugar and salt. The flexibility and durability of bulk bags makes them an ideal choice for moving bulk material around safely.

          If you’d like to speak to an expert for advice, contact QUBE UK today at

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          Beginner Guide to Debris Netting

          Beginner Guide to Debris Netting by Qube UK

          Debris netting protects people and traffic from falling debris on or near construction sites. It can be any netting that attaches to a structure such as rocks, pilings, scaffolding or anything on the shoreline. If you work in the construction industry, you will probably use it at some point. But how do you know which type or strength to use? Here’s a beginner guide to debris netting.

          Table of contents:

            What Is It Made Of

            Debris netting is a mesh material mostly used for scaffolding enclosures within a construction setting. It’s made from high density polyethylene which is a common type of plastic. It also contains UV inhibitors which work by preventing degradation to the material, basically helping to protect from the sun’s radiation. You’ll find out how to use it further into this beginner guide to debris netting.

            Typically, you can measure construction debris netting by its weight per square metre, which can range from 150 to 870 kilograms. What you buy depends on how heavy the loads are that the netting is supporting. As well as how many workers or members of the public are moving along when you’re using it.

            Debris netting is usually green to make it highly visible. But sometimes when it’s on high profile buildings, there could be netting that shows the facade of the building behind the material or details of the project.

            Now think of a construction site. There’s a lot of debris from building new homes or demolishing a site that needs to be taken safely away. However, if debris falls from a height, it can cause the risk of serious injury or even lead to a fatality. That’s why it’s essential to identify the need for debris netting as soon as possible, certainly within the planning stages of a job.

            How Strong Is Debris Netting

            The strength of the debris netting you choose depends on the job you are doing and the loads it will need to carry. Debris netting comes in various lengths and strengths. The most common strength is netting for light debris which has a 16 x 16 weave.

            Meanwhile, if you have larger and heavier loads, you may need netting with a 14 x 14 weave. Other strengths are available.

            Whatever size you choose, construction debris netting is strong and durable and also comes in bright, visible colours. Depending on your safety measures, you can use it more than once. However, if there is damage to it or it’s no longer fit for purpose, you need to replace it as soon as possible.

            To maintain debris netting, you should have a schedule in place to check it’s effectiveness. You can also clean it with a stiff broom to get rid of any heavier dirt which may impact its strength. Next in this beginner guide to debris netting is to learn about its effectiveness.

            How Long Is It Effective

            Generally speaking, debris netting is effective for up to two weeks. However, if there is an incident which causes damage to the netting, then you should replace it. Perhaps a large rock causes a rip or tear in the netting. Then there is the risk of a smaller item of debris falling through the tear and onto a person below. Therefore, replace it straight away.

            Always check the safety requirements of your workplace or site. In some places, you may be able to use debris netting multiple times, depending on your safety measures. Whereas at other sites, the safety planning may require you to replace the netting every two weeks regardless of any damage.

            Beginner Guide To Debris Netting: How To Attach It

            To attach debris netting to the structure, you need to use debris netting straps. These are also available in different thicknesses and lengths depending on what you need. For example, you can get debris netting straps in 8mm or 12mm thickness. Your choice depends on the type of debris you working with. The netting material has eyelets on the edges which means you can quickly and easily attach it using cable ties or netting straps.

            The person responsible for the site must check that the netting is in the right place to capture any falling debris, that it’s safe to use and won’t fall or fly off the structure.

            Benefits Of Using Debris Netting

            There are many benefits to using debris netting, as well as safety protection. For example, it’s versatility means it’s easy to handle and you can hang it either vertically or horizontally. Moreover, it’s easy to attach to a scaffold thanks to the eyelets and cable ties.

            As well as this, the material allows air to move through it, a bit like a windbreaker on a beach. So it can protect you from the elements, while also providing ventilation. In a similar way, it protects you from bright sunlight, but allows enough light in to see what you are doing.

            When To Use Debris Netting

            Debris netting is often put up alongside scaffolding on a construction site. Obviously the purpose is to capture falling debris. In addition to this, it helps to keep workers safe from weather conditions, such as high winds and dust, and other hazardous situations.

            Scaffolding provides a means of access to working platforms and may support the structure or building itself. Therefore, people working with scaffolding face many hazards. For example, the risks include;

            • Falling from height
            • Heat, rain or high winds affecting the anchor bolts, fixing or tubing
            • The scaffolding collapsing
            • The anchorage for the scaffolding moving or weakening
            • Debris from a higher platform falling onto scaffolding or a person below.

            Hence debris netting is an essential part of your fall protection and safety planning on a construction site.

            Where To Put Debris Netting

            To identify where you need to put the debris netting, first have a look around the site and make a risk assessment. Look particularly at where debris could fall to the ground or onto a person. For example, it could fall through a hole in the roof or wall, or from a window down onto someone below if you’re on a higher platform.

            Could it fall from any edges? Or could the debris from your building site fall onto a nearby building in the area where you are working? Have you considered all the surrounding buildings and can you create a safe zone?

            Can Debris Netting Prevent Falls

            Debris netting on scaffolding is part of your fall safety planning, but should not be relied upon to prevent a fall from height. It does have enough strength to catch and support a falling person, but that’s not the main purpose. Ideally, it’s designed for catching falling debris.

            Therefore, in terms of reducing the impact of a fall on a worker, you need other fall safety protection in place. In fact, this is called a fall arrest system. A fall arrest system absorbs the impact of a fall from someone who is already in free fall. It doesn’t prevent the fall itself, but it does reduce the impact of serious injury. A fall arrest system legally requires a fall safety and rescue plan and a nominated competent person to rescue the fallen worker.

            Hence debris netting is not suitable for this situation.

            How Quickly Should You Remove Debris Netting

            Generally speaking, part of your safety planning is to remove any debris caught in the netting as soon as possible. This is because it continues to be a danger to workers or people walking near the netting, in case the weight of the debris breaks the net.

            If members of the public are walking past your scaffolding and some of your netting breaks or tears, they are at risk of serious injury. The responsibility rests with the person who erected the debris netting and the person in charge of the site. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to remove any debris safely as quickly as you can.

            Buying Debris Netting from QUBE

            QUBE UK supply debris netting from their base in the UK. The company specialises in debris netting, FIBC bulk bags and cable ties.

            The debris netting from QUBEUK comes at a length of 2M x 50M. A single product is £29.99 and a pack of 5 is £145.99. A pack of 10 is £279.99 or a pack of 40 is £1079.99. The netting is green in colour and weighs 6kg per pack.

            Made from durable, heavy duty plastic, it’s ideal for use on scaffolding to protect pedestrians and traffic. Furthermore, the nets allow air circulation and dramatically reduce rain and wind penetration. Thus creating a better working environment for construction workers.

            You can also use QubeUK debris netting for gardens and as a windbreak cloth. By placing the brake on dangerous gusts in winter, and protecting greenhouse seedlings and plants in mid summer.

            How Much Debris Netting Should I Get

            How much netting you need depends on the specific requirements of your site, in terms of health and safety, risk assessment and planning. In this beginner guide to debris netting, here are the things you should look out for:

            • how much debris will you have to deal with
            • what is the size of the area around where the debris could fall
            • how often do you think it’s possible for debris to fall
            • how many people are working on the site
            • is there any debris netting already in place and has this been checked.

            Finally, once you have the debris netting in place, make sure you have a schedule to maintain and assess it regularly and to replace it if required. The safety of the netting is a priority as people are risk it it’s not properly secured or damaged.

            What’s The Difference Between Vertical And Horizontal Netting

            Before choosing the type of debris netting for your site, you need to know the difference between vertical and horizontal netting. Ultimately, it about the way in which you hang them.

            For example, vertical debris netting is useful when you’re working on a tall building. It’s easy to install and keeps debris from falling on people below or onto structures or buildings that are next to your project. Furthermore, vertical netting is also useful as a partition during demolition projects.

            Meanwhile, horizontal netting is often hung at various heights when working. It also helps to protect people. Another benefit to debris netting is that it’s flexible and easy to work with and hang where you need it to fit.

            Is Debris Netting Fire Retardant and Waterproof

            Not all debris netting is fire retardant so it’s always worth checking before you buy or hire it. Fire retardant netting often has reinforced edges and is made of non flammable material. Ask your provider before you purchase the netting.

            However, It provides excellent protection in all weathers. The polyethylene material contains UV protection for exposure to sunlight and is also water resistant.

            Hence it’s not just useful for the construction industry. Debris netting is also used in agriculture and gardening to protect plants and keep animals out.

            Whose Responsibility Is It To Look After Debris Netting

            In the construction industry, there is a management of risk when it comes to planning work. As debris netting is an additional safety measure, it’s the responsibility of both the person putting up the netting as well as the site manager to ensure its in safe working order.

            According to the Health And Safety Executive, duty holders or site controllers need to adhere to the following list when planning jobs;

            • Identify jobs that involve work at height and plan the work to ensure appropriate precautions are in place.
            • Have a risk assessment in place that applies the Work At Height Regulations hierarchy.
            • Organise procedures to select correct equipment and ensure that the equipment is properly used.
            • Communicate risk control measures to the workforce
            • Ensure workers are competent to use the equipment that has been correctly installed/assembled
            • Arrange inspection and maintenance of equipment as appropriate.

            Therefore, you may identify that debris netting is required at step 1 when it comes to planning the job. The next step is to assess the risks of debris falling and where you might need it in place. Step 3 includes selecting the right length and strength of netting required.

            In Step 4, you need to tell workers where the debris should go and how to attach it to the structure. Next, you identify a competent worker or workers to put up the debris netting and ensure it’s set up correctly. Step 6 includes selecting an appropriate person to maintain and inspect the equipment after each use.

            Hierarchy Of Control When Working At Height

            When any work at height takes place there is a hierarchy of control measure. So before using any fall protection or safety equipment including debris netting, the site manager or owner must consider the following in order;

            • can you avoid working at height, is there a different way to do the work
            • is there an existing safe place to work
            • if you have to work at height, the provide equipment to prevent falls
            • mitigate for the distance and consequences of a fall
            • Give instruction and training for use of equipment

            As well as this, collective protective measures take priority over personal protection. Hence scaffolding takes priority over a personal lifeline or body harness for example. As debris netting protects several people at once from falling debris, this is a collective measure rather than a personal one.

            Other collective measures when it comes to fall protection include guard rails, protective screens and safety zones.

            Responsibilities After Using Debris Netting

            So while looking through this beginner guide to debris netting, you may need to know what to do when you’ve finished with the netting. If you don’t need it any more, the first thing to do is to remove any debris safely. Once the debris has been removed, you should inspect the netting for any damage to check if it’s safe to use again.

            If there are signs of damage, then you should inform your site controller and remove and replace the netting. If it’s in good, clean condition you can reuse the debris netting to put up again.

            Safety Standards

            Debris netting used for scaffolding must adhere to a number of standards. These include the Construction Regulations (CDM 2015) and Management of Health and Safety Regulations (MHSW 1999).

            This legislation outlines that clients, main contractors, designers and users have a duty to consider the risks to the general public and to control those risks throughout the life of a project.

            If you’re the person responsible for the site, then you must identify the risks as soon as possible, from the enquiry stage to the planning stage. For example, risks may include building the scaffolding in the first place and then dismantling it at the end of a job. Further risks include managing traffic, especially if the scaffolding extends over or into a road. What signage are you going to put up to ensure the traffic avoids the scaffolding and keeps your workers safe?

            As well as this, you need to think about lighting. Bright green debris netting helps visibility, but in the dark, you need proper lighting to alert people that the structure is there.

            When The Public Are At Risk

            Every project must be risk assessed on its own merits and environment. For example, you may have scaffolding attached to a care home while repairs take place. This may cause a pavement lift which in turn creates a fall risk because the pavement is no longer flat.

            Another example is scaffolding at a school. You could have made this as safe as possible, but with several children running around, there’s still a risk that they could knock the scaffolding and something falls. Once again, this is where debris netting can make an essential difference to the safety of your site.

            If the scaffolding is erected along a public street, it may jut into the main road. In which case the walkway is set up for pedestrians underneath the scaffolding. Therefore there should be equipment in place to make the structure above safe, as well as the floor below on which people are walking. Another risk is if people try to overtake each other in a limited space. If one person overtakes onto the road, they run the risk of being hit by traffic or by potential falling debris.

            Typically, construction debris is extremely heavy. If debris does fall onto the road or pathway below, it can cause serious injury or even fatality.

            Main Control Measures For Scaffolding

            When it comes to control measures for scaffolding, then debris netting comes under that heading.

            Other control measures are;

            • pedestrian segregation, such as hoarding or guard rails
            • exclusion zones
            • out of hours working
            • pavement scaffolds
            • protection gantries
            • debris and safety netting

            Conclusion: A Beginner Guide To Debris Netting

            To sum up, in this beginner guide to debris netting, there are many benefits to it of course, but the main one is to protect your workers and other people from falling debris. This is a collective measure which can protect several people instead of just one person. You can use debris netting alongside other safety equipment to reduce the hazards as much as possible. Clearly, you don’t want any debris to fall on site. But if it does, the netting will catch it before it falls on anyone below, causing serious injury or even fatality.