Improve Warehouse Safety By Adding Protective Guard Netting To These 4 Areas
Protective guard netting, also known as “rack guard netting,” “overhead netting,” and “safety netting,” retains and prevents items falling from heights to reach the ground. This protects workers and pedestrians from potentially being struck by a falling object, as well as eliminates the risk of product damage. There are four key areas within a warehouse or distribution center (DC) that are ideal for the application of this safety solution. They include:
1 » Pallet Rack
These storage systems can be protected on all sides by safety netting that is either fixed or designed to slide side-to-side or up and down, permitting access to stored items when needed and preventing items from falling at other times. Coverage areas include:
- Vertical sides and ends of rack that are not accessed are ideal for fixed netting.
- Storage and pick faces can be equipped with a sliding net system for periodic access. These areas of rack can alternately be outfitted with removable netting for access and guarding.
- Vertical flue spaces can be protected with fixed netting to prevent intermingling of product.
- Horizontal fixed netting can be deployed under drive-in, push back and pallet flow rack to catch items or personnel from falling down or through the system.
2 » Conveyor
Whether floor based or overhead, transport belt or roller conveyor (with or without guardrails) used to move products throughout a facility can be outfitted with protective guard netting to contain any product that may fall off the sides. Coverage areas include:
- Vertical netting applied to the sides of the conveyor as a secondary means of guarding to supplement guardrails.
- Netting installed underneath a conveyor catches any product that may fall off.
- Underneath an overhead system that does not have guardrail to serve as the primary means of guarding.
3 » Handrail
With the primary purpose of handrails on elevated work platforms and pick modules being to protect personnel from falling over the edge, they can also serve as a mounting surface for safety netting in two ways:
- To fill in the spaces between rails and prevent items from falling over the side if product is stored near the edge of the platform.
- To create a barrier above the top handrail if product storage locations exceed that height
4 » Shelves
Open-back storage shelving lacks a means to prevent items from being pushed off the back from the front. To prevent this occurrence, safety netting can be applied. This alternative to a solid back increases air circulation while letting light pass through the openings for better visibility of stored products and easier reading of part numbers.
Advantages of Netting
In addition to protecting personnel and products from damage due to falling items, protective guard netting also offers other advantages. These include:
- Netting typically is a more affordable option when compared to other materials, such as solid or mesh steel panels.
- Netting offers a high strength to low weight ratio, allowing it to catch and stop heavy loads without adding significant weight to the protected system’s structure.
- Netting’s construction enables it deflect, or give, when impacted. This means it will not be permanently deformed by a minor incident, unlike other materials.
- Netting’s inherent deflection ability also reduces the potential risk of damage to products that may be pushed into it.
- Netting, due to its flexible nature, will not be damaged by impacts or rough handling during shipment.
- Netting is lightweight, reducing shipping costs when compared to other materials.
- Netting, made of nylon, polypropylene, or polyethylene, does not rust, rot or corrode like other materials.
- Netting is lightweight, enabling it to be installed with fewer workers and reducing installation costs.
Looking for more information about protective guard netting? Check out the two categories dedicated to this guarding solution in the Protective Guarding Search Tool, published by the members of the Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA): Overhead Mesh Guarding and Safety Netting.