IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Development of a new type of safety fence for use in the construction industry


Fall-arrest devices are not widely used during concreting and formwork, activities entailing a significant risk of falling. Among the factors militating against their use are their ineffectiveness, the complex installation procedures required, and poor inter-system compatibility. This project therefore developed a fall-prevention device for use on concrete flooring and fly-forms during formworking. The design of the initial prototype was derived from a comparative analysis of currently available equipment. Literature review and consultation with CSST (Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec, Québec Occupational Health and Safety Commission) inspectors and industry representatives provided information which was used to optimize the prototype, most notably by adapting it for use on concrete flooring. The modified prototype was then installed on a construction site and the comments and suggestions of users and observers collected. The new safety fence is non-degradable and provides protection continuously throughout its length. Capable of lateral adjustment, it may be installed either perpendicularly or at an angle, and at any distance from the perimeter. Further protection is afforded by the presence, on the exterior of the apparatus, of anchor rings for lanyards. The ring which anchors the fence to the concrete slabs may be installed either before or after concreting.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0087-0290
Status: Completed
  • Jean Arteau (IRSST)
  • Raymond Bertrand (Atelier de design urbain de Montréal)