Posted on Leave a comment

Debris Netting For Scaffolding

debris-netting-for-scaffolding-QubeUK

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 Qubeuk.com.

    Posted on Leave a comment

    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.