Falls are one of the most common causes of death on construction sites. Unfortunately, many of these falls are preventable—and a site owner, employer, or negligent third party could be liable if proper life nets were not used on the site.

New York Regulations for Life Nets on Construction Sites

Life Nets Being Used on a Construction SiteNY Labor Law 241 mandates that owners and contractors must make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. Under Section 241(6), owners and contractors must also comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to effect the provisions of the law.

The Department of Labor has since created Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code, which specifically includes rules for fall prevention, including life nets. Under Part 23-1.17, any life nets used in construction or demolition operations must be approved and meet the following standards:

  • Materials and construction. Life nets must be fire resistant and made of first grade fiber cordage, woven fabric, synthetic fiber, or wire rope. Mesh nets must have openings of four inches or less, and the perimeter of every life net must be reinforced with cloth-covered rope that attaches to supports and anchorages using properly-sized padded thimbles or sockets.
  • Strength and location. All life nets must be of sufficient size and strength to catch and hold any person for whose protection the net is being used. Any nets must be placed in a way that completely covers the area of possible fall. Every life net must be supported at a height to prevent sagging that could cause the net to touch any surface or object beneath when cushioning a fall.
  • Maintenance. Every life net in use must be stored in a dry location that is protected from the elements, and must be thoroughly dried before put in storage. Nets shall be protected against damage from mechanical devices, corrosive substances, or any other cause of potential deterioration.
  • Inspection. Life nets must be inspected by a designated qualified person before each installation, and a daily visual inspection of nets in use shall be performed by a designated person. Any unsafe life nets must be removed from the job site immediately and not returned unless properly repaired. Employers must not allow use of any life net which shows mildew, broken fibers, excessive wear, or other damage that could affect the strength of the net.

If you or someone you love suffered a fall, our experienced construction injury law firm can investigate the incident and determine what you and your family may be owed—and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Learn more about your rights in our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone, or fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.