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32 JANUARY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Safety Watch S afety nets are often used on construction jobsites as passive fall arrest systems. ese nets are often called debris nets, and they are designed to catch small, lightweight construction debris, tools, building materials, and other items that may be dropped, pushed, or blown from a structure. Debris nets are designed to prevent workers, passersby, or traffic from being hurt or damaged. e mesh size of debris nets depends upon the job. ey are available in many sizes and strengths depending on the weight and size of the debris to be contained. Other Safety Nets e term "safety net" is frequently used to include any kind of net, whether it is a personnel net or a debris net. A lso, the construction industry tends to categorize nets according to their appli- cation (e.g., bridge nets, interior nets, perimeter nets, elevator shaft nets, roofing nets, polar crane nets, etc.). Interior nets are used on the interior of structures where the fall distance is greater than 25 feet (7.6 m). Personnel nets and debris nets are used together on such applications where other means of fall protection, such as flooring or scaffolding, are not used or are not practical. Nets should be cleaned on a daily basis, or as needed, depending on the debris collected. Perimeter nets are personnel or debris nets that are erected around the perimeter of a building to protect workers from overboard falls or to catch construction debris. Other examples of applications for safety and debris nets exist in eleva- tor and mechanical shafts to protect workers and guard against falling debris. Special structures, such as cooling towers, chimneys, containment buildings, civic centers, auditoriums, gymnasiums, and atriums of large buildings, also may be protected with a variety of specialized and special- shaped safety and debris nets. Spalling nets are designed to catch small- and medium-sized chunks of concrete or stone that scale off or are being removed from decaying structures. Restoration nets are designed to protect workers, the public, displays, and traffic from falling objects during restoration projects. Slag nets are designed to be hung below cutting or welding operations to catch the slag of the welder's or cutter's torch and protect those below. Windscreen/overspray nets are designed to be used vertically to restrict the spreading of paint, sandblast material, and sprayed-on insulation while still allowing for venti- lation to the area. When and Where to Use Nets Safety nets should be used when the workplace is more than 25 feet (7.6 m) above the ground, water, or other surface, such as an adjacent structure or intermediate floor. W here the use of ladders, scaffolds, catch platforms, temporary floors, safety lines, or safety belts are impractical, nets should be used. (In areas where nets offer the best protection, you might request to have the contract provide for their use, so The term "safety net" is frequently used to include any kind of net, whether it is a personnel net or a debris net. By Dr. Wes Scott, Ph.D., Consulting Services Director for National Safety Council Designed to Catch: Safety Net Systems