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Protective Netting: Protecting People and Product While Improving Your Overall Work Environment

Contributed by: ProGMA- Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association of MHI

Netting has a high strength-to-weight ratio which equates to less weight on the rack system to accomplish the protective goals needed in the application. Image courtesy of Carron Net Company, Inc.

Protective safety netting products are used to protect people, product and spaces in warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. The protective netting guards against objects that could potentially fall from conveyors, racks and elevated work areas. There are several types of products that are available which include knitted and extruded nets made from nylon, polypropylene, polyethylene and various specialty materials.

Protective netting can be called out as “rack guard netting,” “overhead netting,” “fall protection netting” or “safety netting.” There are four key areas of a warehouse or distribution center that are ideal for the application of this safety solution.

“The key to a successful installation is determining the product best suited for accomplishing the safety goals of the project,” said Randy Johnson, Vice President of Industrial Netting, Inc., a ProGMA Member.  “Working with ProGMA members will assure that project requirements are being met with proven products and solutions. ProGMA member companies work closely with customers to accomplish a successful and cost-effective installation.”

Pallet rack netting is directly applied to the racking systems in the facility. The netting helps to contain products on the racking as well as protect against falling objects which expose workers and equipment. It also helps to protect product from damage associated with falling. The products can be applied to the sides and ends of the rack that are typically not accessed. Storage and pick faces can be secured through a sliding system or fitted with removable netting for access.

Netting allows for air circulation, light and visibility of stored products. Image courtesy of Incord.

Overhead conveyors can be safeguarded by applying netting to the sides or bottom of the conveyor. The netting can also be used as a secondary means of protection when attached to existing guard rails. The products being conveyed will influence the type of netting required to safeguard the area. With the use of safety netting, the products are protected from damage if they fall, and more importantly, workers and equipment are protected from falling objects.

Shelves can be protected by applying safety netting to the open back of the shelving. This will prevent products from being pushed off the back. Because the netting replaces a solid back to the shelving, there is increased air circulation, light and better overall visibility of stored products.

There are multiple advantages to using the current market offerings of safety nettings. Netting is typically more affordable when compared to other materials, such as solid backing or steel mesh panels. Savings are achieved though the installation process because of the ease of handling. Installation costs, as well as repairs during the life of the product, can be significantly cheaper.

Pallet rack netting helps to contain products on the rack and protects workers and equipment from falling objects. Image courtesy of Industrial Netting, Inc.

Netting products offer a high strength to weight ratio which equate to less weight on the rack system to accomplish the protective goals needed in the application. Netting will also deflect when impacted without significant deformation. Aesthetics will also not be adversely compromised, and the netting can be reviewed after an incident and brought to the original installation structure.

Additional advantages of netting that can be realized are: Lighter weight thus reducing shipping costs; products will not rot or corrode; and the products are easier to install using fewer workers and requiring simple tools, thus reducing the installation costs. WMHS

This article was contributed by ProGMA- Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association of MHI. If you are looking for more information, please visit the ProGMA website: www.mhi.org/progma and check out the protective guarding search tool where you can find many guarding solutions, including netting: www.mhi.org/progma/technologies

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