Builders are being warned to put on safety nets to prevent serious work-related injuries, such as fall off roofs or walls. In past two years, two serious head injuries were recorded due to inappropriate installation.

WorkSafe has issued an industry-wide alert about the dangers of poorly installed and badly made nets in residential building sites.

Safety net is designed to prevent falling from high level and serious injury within high-level work areas.

Poor quality nets and unqualified installers are leading to an increase of serious injury, WorkSafe construction sector lead Vadim Spice explained.

“In the Auckland region, we’ve had three reported incidents in two years… Two serious head injuries as a result of falling, impacting into the net, the net failing and falling another two metres to the concrete floor below. So the worst case scenario actually.”

Even though the installation of safety net is not compulsory, employers are required to protect workers from serious harm. Besides safety nets, alternative ways to ensure builders’ safety include air-filled bags, polystyrene-filled begs and membranes.

Among all, safety nets were becoming more widely accepted in the industry, Fall Arrest Safety Nets Association spokesperson Craig Daly said.

“There was some reticence initially, I think, when WorkSafe had the push on for fall protection. But I think now that most responsible builders are aware that they need to provide some means of protection for the workers on site, and that’s a good thing.”

Simon Barber, registered Master Builders Association president, encouraged WorkSafe should take a step further to ensure builders are using them, but would not suggest a compulsory measure on the installation.

“At the moment everyone has their own interpretation of what complies,” he said.

Nets installation should be carried out by registered installers and the cost is around $700.

The alert was issued in both English and Chinese due to an estimated third of construction companies are Chines builders.