Falls from heights-Installation of safety mesh


Questions have been raised within the Membership about the practice that has crept into the roofing industry in regards to the fixing of Safety Mesh by means of using a metal flashing tek-screwed to the gutter/eaves purlin.

This is an unsatisfactory method of fixing Safety Mesh.

Safety Mesh has been tested and designed to meet testing standards developed by a National Testing Authority, and only mesh passing this test is suitable for fall prevention.

The testing criteria includes the method of fixing the Safety Mesh to the purlin.

The only way the Safety Mesh can be installed as per the test is if the longitudinal wires are passed through a hole drilled on top of the purlin and tied off with at least four turns around the wire, or wrapped around the purlin and tied off accordingly.

Where timber purlins are used, 40m x 3.5 staples should be used, or wrapped around the purlin and tied accordingly.

The Risk

Failing to install the mesh as per the manufacturers recommendation will result in the failure of the Safety Mesh to perform as intended, and therefore fail to arrest a fall.

Action to be Taken

Should a Member be directed to install Safety Mesh that does not meet the manufacturers recommendations, i.e., by using sheetmetal flashing, your employer is failing to provide a safe system of work; protection from a fall is not provided and this work must cease.

Members must contact the Union if you become aware of metal flashing being used in the installation process.

Steve Rocco R2 2016


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