Safety Nets NZ Celebrates 10 Years Saving Lives
It is hard to believe that October this year marks the 10 year anniversary of the establishment of Safety Nets NZ Ltd.
From very humble beginnings we have grown to be a country’s largest and leading practitioner in regard to the installation of safety net fall protection systems throughout the country, with branches in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Central Otago and Dunedin.
In early 2008 the current directors of Safety Nets NZ Ltd identified a need for a better way of protecting workers working at high-level from risk of injury associated with falls. Having been familiar with use of safety nets in the UK we decided to introduce this proven system to the New Zealand construction sector. At that time there was very little awareness of what safety nets were and how they would perform, and indeed the practicalities and effectiveness of safety net systems was completely unknown. We spent considerable time with inspectors from the Department of Labour as it was then known, explaining how the nets worked, and showing them what to look for in terms of compliance regards the nets themselves, and the manner in which they were installed.
At that time there are no New Zealand standards that related to the use of safety nets, so to ensure that the nets were installed correctly we had to fly out a senior net rigger/trainer from the UK to train our first riggers.
We were the first company in the country specifically established to provide safety net fall protection services.
As the market became increasingly familiar with the advantages of using safety nets as a means of providing fall protection, the type of works that we were asked to help with broadened, and we have worked for a range of the country's largest infrastructure and construction companies on some very interesting and wide ranging projects including on Auckland Harbour Bridge, Dunedin Hospital, Vector Access Chambers in Auckland City, Bridge Crossing of Upper Hutt Estuary etc…
In mid 2012 we were approached by Department of Labour (the forerunner of Worksafe NZ) who at the time were looking to promote their “Best Practice Guidelines for Working on Roofs, with specific emphasis on residential projects. They asked us to look into the possibility of developing a system whereby safety nets could be used on house construction projects. This had not been done before, and it took 3 months of engineering analysis and research to develop a system that was practical, effective and efficient to use, and accepted by the industry. In October 2012 we were the first company to install safety nets on a residential construction project in New Zealand. Since then we have installed nets on over 12,000 houses throughout the country.
We have been the market leader in terms of scale and development of new systems, and were recognized at the prestigious Westpac Business Awards in 2016 with an Excellence in Innovation award.
We have continued to innovate and have developed other service offerings based around the use of safety nets that have proved very popular throughout the country including walk on tensioned platforms, debris containment, asbestos containment, vertical partition netting.
For the last two years we have been working closely with the engineering department at Massey University on the development of the only truly independently certified and engineered safety net fall arrest system that is used on residential construction projects throughout New Zealand. The purpose of the testing carried out by the team at the University was to establish and verify proven criteria for installation of safety nets on residential construction sites. There has been very little, if any work done in this area throughout the world, and certainly not in the Asia-Pacific region. In undertaking this work we are able to substantiate that our system, based on the installation parameters that we have developed and had proven by intensive independent testing, is fully compliant, fit for purpose and proven in the marketplace. We are the only company in the country that has carried out this analysis to prove the validity and performance of our company specific system.
As we approach this significant milestone in our history, it is an opportune time to look back on what we have achieved over the last decade, but also to take the opportunity to look forward to see how we can continue to improve and develop as a company to ensure that the needs of our clients are met. We have spent some time thinking about what we do, and why we do it, and have rewritten our company Mission Statement to reflect our goals and values, and this Mission Statement will hopefully lead us through the next 10 years.
Series of Firsts/Highlights
The first company established solely to install Safety Nets as a means of fall protection on construction sites.
First company to fly trainer out from UK to train members of our team.
First riggers trained and certified in New Zealand by senior trainer from FASET in the UK.
Worked closely with MBIE to develop “Best Practice Guidelines for Installation of Safety Nets on Construction Sites”.
Part of team that worked on establishment of SARNZ “Guideline for Residential Construction”.
Instrumental in establishing FASNA.
First company to install safety net fall protection system on a residential site in New Zealand.
First company to develop truly independently engineered solution for installation of safety nets fall protection system on residential construction sites in New Zealand.
Winner of prestigious Westpac business awards for Innovation in Business for Auckland North region in 2016.
Largest provider of safety net fall arrest solutions throughout New Zealand.
Developer of bespoke net management system to ensure ongoing compliance of over 20,000 nets.
Leading developer of bespoke net fall protection systems for debris and asbestos containment during re-roofing works.