Can debris netting be considered a permanent solution to catch concrete debris, and if not, how long is it designed to remain functional and effective?
Debris netting can be considered and used as a permanent solution to catch and retain concrete debris for long-term projects. Some applications in which it would be used as a continuing solution might be a large bridge rehabilitation project, a historic building restoration, infrastructure debris containment, etc.
When designing a permanent solution for a specific project, important considerations must be taken into account, including, but not limited to, attachment points, environment and the type and size of materials being caught, which, along with the netting itself, determine how the long the net will remain functional and effective.
Proper rigging and attachment is one critical area of concern in system longevity. The installation of properly designed attachment points and hardware will allow it to anchor itself, which will lead to increased stability and longer service life. Without proper cabling, hardware, bolts etc., as well as a solid surface or attachment point designed to bear the load of the concrete, failure will occur quicker or replacement will be needed sooner than anticipated.
When designing a system for longevity, thought should be given to the material being caught within and falling into the net itself. Elements such as weight, size, chemical makeup, and contamination of the debris need to be accounted for. Contaminated material and heavier concrete dropped from longer distances have a large and noticeable impact on the how the long the nets will remain functional.
Another important consideration in regard to how long nets will remain functional is the environment in which they will be placed. Extreme heat or cold, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and harsher weather, such as salt environments, factor greatly in their longevity. These elements will result in decay much sooner, compromising integrity quickly and without warning.
It is important to remember in the design of any permanent debris netting system that all of these factors be considered, including its engineering considerations (FallProof can assist with this). Finally, and most importantly, in all of the scenarios mentioned above, it should be a matter of routine – like with all fall protection systems – to conduct inspections at regular intervals. This will to ensure that integrity has not been compromised, and replacement of any components that do not pass a rigorous inspection and evaluation can be made without delay.
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