A safety net is a net to protect people from injury after falling from heights by limiting the distance they fall, and deflecting to dissipate the impact energy. The term also refers to devices for arresting falling or flying objects for the safety of people beyond or below the net. Safety netting as a safety device was first innovated by Joseph Strauss during the Golden Gate Bridge construction 1933-1937 where Strauss mandated the installation of a moveable net to prevent construction employees from falling to certain death into the unforgiving waters. It saved lives but unfortunately in 1937 due to a platform collapsing onto the net it could not hold the load and the net failed under stress and ten men lost their lives with only two surviving. This prompted the formation of a club called the Half Way to Hell Club.
Often, a safety net for catching fallen workers is known as a "personnel net," while one used to catch falling objects is called a "debris net."
Firefighters once used a device called a Life net which allowed people in burning buildings to jump to safety.
Safety nets can be used in construction, building maintenance, entertainment, or other industries.
- Safety Net Systems // Occupational Safety & Health Administration
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