When Jason Walls, Director of the Stucco Division for the Schear Corporation in Naples, Fla., needed to evaluate his business's safety issues four years ago, he left no stone unturned. Walls hired Safe Site, a local safety consultant, to complete a risk analysis of the company and provide his crews with training. What came to light out of the consultation was that his company was having everyday guardrail issues. After trying several products that just didn't do the job, Walls and co-inventor Johnny Davis decided to create their own solution: the Safenet.
"We knew we needed something simple, cost-effective and reusable," says Walls, now President of Safenet of Naples, Inc. "So we thought about some sort of lightweight, flexible system, and of course it led us to netting."
Concerned with making a system that was strong enough, the duo tried several different types of materials and combinations, but discovered a two-inch netting system with a sewn rope border provided the best results.
"Before mason contractors get stuck putting guardrails up, this is a great alternative for them because they don't have to buy 2x4s and it's a lot more user-friendly," says Walls.
The Safenet scaffolding system offers several advantages over traditional guardrails:
- Safenet takes up less room and is lighter.
- Because they're lighter, crewmembers are less likely to get injured during moving and installation.
- With verbal instructions, a new user can install a net within 60 seconds of unpacking.
- The nets exceed OSHA regulations, withstanding over 600 pounds of downward or outward pressure.
- If you don't need to fully plank an area of scaffolding, you can attach the nets at center and only plank half the scaffold.
- Safenet will outlast a plank up to five times.
The system uses a carabiner-type clip along with a loose strap, which allows the system to be tailored to almost any need.
"Nothing is sewn in, so everything can be taken off and things can be moved around," states Walls. "The straps are what is going to get worn. They're not sewn in so, if you need to replace the strap, you can do that without having to buy a whole new product or cutting it up to replace them."
Plus they're engineered to be tangle-free. Walls states that you can throw them in the back of the truck or stuff them in a duffel bag for hauling up ladders and they'll never get knotted up.
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