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Fall prevention

Safety nets

When using safety nets, it is necessary to use nets suitable for the intended purpose.

Depending on their type and installation, safety nets can be used to safeguard against injury, the risk of people falling and the risk of materials, tools, etc. falling.

A net with a close mesh must be used to provide safety from falling materials, tools, etc.

Safety nets must be installed and used in compliance with the supplier’s usage instructions. Take care not to confuse dust nets with safety nets.

If safety nets are used to protect people from injury in connection with falling, a plan has to be compiled which indicates how to bring someone who has fallen back up or down to ground level.

The net must hang completely freely if it is to act as a safety net for workers as well. You must not place materials or other objects under the net, and the net must be designed and type-approved in accordance with applicable norms and standards and fitted with a manufacturer’s plate showing information on its use.

The supplier’s instructions for the use and maintenance of the net must be kept on site.

Suspension of nets

Attachment points for the net will be planned and established when the building structure is erected.

Using a personnel lift is ideal when suspending the net. Hang the net up as close as possible to the area beneath the work area. The net must be secured to building elements which can bear the weight of a person who has been saved by the safety net.

Hang up the net so that it has the clearance specified on the manufacturer’s plate. You must not store goods under the net to reduce the clearance to an unacceptable level. The same is true in connection with access for workers or vehicles, the suspension of cables and similar.

If you tie several nets together, you must ensure that people cannot strike the joints if they fall.

Protect the net from weld spatter and similar.

Follow the supplier’s instructions with regard to inspection and maintenance.

Open façades

It is practical to use railings which can easily be removed again if cranes are to position materials, or if you are going to set up façade elements.

If there is a risk of someone falling when taking down railings and similar, fall protection equipment must be used as a minimum.

If a cross wall blocks an access route, you have to set up what is known as a “pulpit”. Also remember to set up railings at the edges of the “pulpit”.

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Element construction

It is always necessary to secure against falling during element construction, irrespective of height. You must always set up railings in the following instances:

  • When working with narrow elements such as gas concrete and Siporex.
  • If there are indents and openings in the cover.
  • If you are going to hoist materials up.
  • If there is a particular risk of falling, e.g. due to the weather conditions or nature of the work.
  • If the ground makes falling particularly dangerous.

Replacement of windows

Use a work platform such as scaffolding, a lift or other form of stand when the lower edge of the window is more than 2 m above ground level.
If you are fitting the windows from inside, you must safeguard against falling out. Proper transportation of the windows to the places where they are to be installed must always be ensured. Suitable technical aids must normally be used for both vertical and horizontal transportation.

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Replacement of balconies

There must be scaffolding or another base at the most 10 cm below the balcony when breaking down cast balconies. The scaffolding must absorb the shock when it falls (normally twice the weight of the balcony).

Screen off the working area so that fragments of concrete from the work do not constitute a risk.

Door openings

Always fit railings in door openings in stairwells and lift shafts, for example.

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Patent posts

Patent posts may consist of a pipe placed on a securing arrangement. Some may also be used for screening façades.

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Risk of falling to a lower level

Openings in floors, roofs, walls, horizontal divisions and similar which constitute a collapse or fall hazard must be provided with railings, covers or other suitable safety arrangements.

Always set up railings or another effective barrier if there is a risk of falling and injury from the work floor, work platforms, access route and similar. When working at heights of approx. 2 metres and above, the height in itself will normally pose a risk of injury.

Even if the height is less than 2 m, railings must always be set up in the following instances, for example:

  • If the nature of the work constitutes a particular hazard, e.g. during sandblasting and high pressure cleaning.
  • If landing on the surrounding ground is particularly hazardous, e.g. because of reinforcement bars sticking out, or materials stacked up.

If you cover openings with a tarpaulin, there must also be hand, knee and foot rails.

Plan construction work so that the fact that inserts are to be cast in concrete elements is taken into account right at the planning phase so that it is possible to install railing posts without having to drill holes for them.

Requirements for railings and roof covers

Railings must comprise a handrail at a height of 1 metre, a knee rail at a height of 50 cm, and a foot rail 15 cm high.

If there is a particular risk of materials or tools falling, you have to fit a denser cladding which is sufficiently high. This may involve a net or panels, for example.

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Requirements for railings

Railings must be of the strength necessary to prevent a person falling.
Railings made of wood can be used with a post distance of max. 2.25 m if the following criteria are met:

  • These posts must be able to withstand a spot load of 1.25 kN (125 kg) which is applied at the point where the hand rail is secured without them being displaced by more than 25 mm from their original position.
  • The hand and knee rails must be made using 32 x 125 mm boards, and foot rails must use 32 x 150 mm boards.

Railings for safeguarding against falling on sloping roofs can normally be implemented as above, if the railings are supplemented with a dense cover consisting of plywood sheets, box screens or steel mesh.

The strength of the roof cover can be tested by twice loading a load roller at a distance of 5.0 m from the cover. This load must weigh at least 75 kg, be 1.0 m long and be of a diameter of 0.3 m. The roof cover must be able to withstand this load.

Holes in storey floors and changes of level in access routes, etc.

Cover all holes or screen them off if there is a risk of anyone tripping over them or stepping through them, or if materials could fall through them. This is applicable irrespective of how large the holes are and where they are located. Make sure that you secure the cover so that it is unable to be dislodged, and ensure it is able to withstand the anticipated loads.

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Likewise, all changes of level where people move around should be screened off or marked so that people do not fall or trip.

Large holes

Set up railings or apply a clear, durable marker at least 2 m from large holes.

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Smaller holes

It is possible to cover smaller holes with a trapdoor provided with battens so that they are not pushed aside. Place padlocks on the hatch so that it cannot be removed, but you can still use the hole e.g. to transport materials through.

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Small holes

You have to cover small holes yourself if there is a risk of tripping or if you use motorised technical aids.

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Skylight openings

Holes that are to be turned into skylights have to be covered with a load bearing, non-slip material which remains in place.

Alternatively, they can be secured using railings or clear, durable markers at least 2 m from the edge.

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Non-load-bearing base

Staff must not work on surfaces which are not load bearing without precautions being implemented to prevent falling. This may, for example, include points where beams, roof plates and similar cannot withstand people walking on them.