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System provides ‘safety net’ to ensure fall equipment is OK to use

G&M Safety Netting

gmFifty per cent of all fatalities in the construction industry are caused by falls from height. G&M Safety Netting provides fall arrest systems such as safety netting, airbags and work platforms to help prevent accidents.

The company called in CoreRFID to develop a system to help it manage inspections and maintenance to comply with industry standards. The system, which was originally installed in 2009, is now used to manage over 4,000 nets and has been regularly upgraded and adapted in line with G&M’s needs.

“The CoreRFID solution makes tracking the use and testing of nets easier helping us to manage net safety more effectively.”
– Mark Pickles, co-founder, G&M Safety Netting

Meeting the FASET standards

Based in Middlewich, Cheshire, G&M Safety Netting provides installations for both new-build and refurbishment projects. The company complies with the FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training) code of practice which requires safety nets to be regularly tested in line with British Standard BSEN1263-2.

G&M’s inspection system is based on CoreRFID’s CheckedOK system, which is widely used across the construction sector and a market leader in the lifting industry. Each net has an RFID tag attached. Operatives simply scan the tag with a mobile device and they can check its inspection history, see the date of manufacture, when and where it was last stored, and which jobs it has been used on.

G&M staff can also access extensive reports on net locations, the history of an individual net or of all nets at a particular site, and the schedule of nets for inspection, and update the records with details of new inspections carried out.

Tracking the whereabouts of safety nets

As safety nets are checked in and out of stores, or on and off construction sites, staff simply scan the tags with a reader or handheld device. From the data captured, it is possible to know the whereabouts of each safety net and how long it has been in use.

Exposure to UV light can cause netting to deteriorate so time on site is a critical measure of net safety. When a net is returned, the system will record whether it is returned to stock, placed in quarantine pending further inspection, assigned to be repaired or scrapped, sent for its annual test or booked out to another contract directly. The system also monitors related items such as rope ties, grippers, net-claws and rigging ropes.

Safety netting installations form an essential part of construction site safety.
Safety netting installations form an essential part of construction site safety.

CoreRFID delivered the original system for G&M in 2009, which included providing software and hardware, as well as project management and training for the installation. The system uses high frequency RFID tags that are attached with cable ties to the safety nets and sufficiently robust to withstand exposure to weather.

It has been updated and adapted regularly, and was also extended to manage G&M’s innovative safety decking product with the system controlling the booking in and out of products.

The benefits

G&M’s safety system provides:

  • Improved site safety by removing the risk of nets failing
  • An easier way to schedule safety testing
  • Proof of compliance to FASET and BS EN 1263-2 standards
  • Data collection on site as nets are installed
  • Information on the whereabouts of each net and a history of its usage
  • Better stock management, preventing delays due to nets not being available
  • A better way to book in or book out hire items such as safety decking.