Author Archives: Drew

Kidspace Children’s Museum: Replacement Climbing Nets

A climbing structure at a children's museum.

Kidspace children’s museum is situated beside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. This highly regarded family destination has over 40 interactive exhibits and play experiences for everyone. Situated on what had been a horticultural center at Brookside Park, the museum opened its 3 acre campus in 2004. The museum focuses its developmental learning programs on children aged 1 to 10 years of age, with variety of scientific and natural based exhibits that encourage exploration.

A damaged climbing net at a children's museum.A badly damaged climbing net in need of replacement..A climbing net showing extreme wear and damage.Pucuda had been called into provide a replacement climb netting system for a rope bridge in the museum’s outdoor climbing area called Arroyo Adventure. The product which had previously been installed was heavily damaged by the constant use of children climbing through the exhibit. The museum contacted us about our climb netting products, and in particular our own patented Shrinking Net®.

The first manufacturing stage of a cargo climbing net. The intermediate manufacturing stage of a climbing net. A rope net bridge being manufactured.The difference with our climb netting products is that we manufacture them for specific functions. Our 5/8 Climbing Net, is hand woven and meets the ASTM standards for amusement netting. The Supersoft™ rope that the nets are made from is available in over 18 brilliant colors. In the case of the replacement net which we manufactured for the Kidspace rope bridge, we made them a jute colored, 5/8 Shrinking climb net, with a 30K barrier net for the top of the bridge.

A rope net bridge being installed. A rope net bridge at a children's museum. Rope net bridges are a great addition to children's museums.A climbing play area at a children's museum.Many active play destinations such as children’s museums and amusement parks will use whatever material a netting re-seller, or net installer provides them. Trusting that they are being provided with a product and a professional installation that will be a good return on their investment. Unfortunately, we’ve seen many situations where an inappropriate product is installed and needs to be replaced before long.

We’ve been in the business a long time and have provided our systems to amusement parks all over the world. Contact us for a sample of our netting and tell us about your project.

Pucuda Leading Edge provides climbing netting, barrier netting and safety netting for amusement parks and waterparks all over the world.

American Dream: Indoor Adventureland

An indoor roller coaster at American Dream, New Jersey.

American Dream is situated in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Meadowlands sports complex. The location had been proposed for re-development for decades. After several changes of ownership over many years, the Triple Five Group, who own two of North America’s largest malls (West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America) took control of the project and successfully navigated the development process.

While it might technically be described as a mall, it’s really a Four Season, indoor amusement destination. Set on 16 acres, which at one time was a parking lot for Continental Airlines, it is in the same neighborhood as where The New York Giants and New York Jets play their football games. When completed, American Dream will cover 3 million square feet, consisting of 55 percent entertainment facilities and 45 percent retail venues.

Photo courtesy of

The complex will open in 4 phases. The first phase opened in October 2019, which consisted of an indoor amusement park called The Nickelodeon Universe. This features two roller coasters and a variety of other rides and an ice rink. Then in November, the Dreamworks Water Park opens, showcasing 40 water slides and Catch the PerfectSwell, featuring a 1.5 acre wave pool.

A large inflatable balloon at an amusement park A bunch of Dreamworks cartoon characters at American Dream in New Jersey.Next to debut will be Big Snow America, featuring an indoor ski slope. Then in March of 2020 the mall’s retail and dining destinations will open. There are supposed to be at least 350 retail stores and 100 dining options and 20 full service restaurants. In addition to that Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center and several movie theaters and the 300’ Observation Wheel will open at the same time.

An indoor amusement park featuring roller coastersAn indoor roller coaster at American Dream in New Jersey.Pucuda-Leading Edge was called into action days before the scheduled opening of Nickelodeon Universe. There was a concern about the possibility of debris falling on the queue lines of visitors while they waited on lines. In the gigantic Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park, roller coasters literally zoom over the heads of bystanders waiting below. So we took the trip to New Jersey for a tour of the park and consulted with the onsite engineers about the locations where safety netting and debris netting systems needed to be installed.

Ride safety netting for a roller coaster. Roller coaster safety netting to catch falling debris. Public protection netting for an amusement park ride.Safety netting for a roller coaster ride.Netting to catch debris falling from a roller coaster.The installation of our ride safety netting systems at American Dream went smoothly and we did a final walk through of the Nickelodeon Universe. Some of the Pucuda staff are thinking of a special mid-winter trip to check out Catch the PerfectSwell at the massive wave pool at Dreamworks Water Park, because it’s cheaper than a trip to Hawaii.

Pucuda Leading Edge provides climbing netting, barrier netting and safety netting for amusement parks and waterparks all over the world.

Perimeter Netting Systems Provide Passive Safety Protection

There is a long history of using safety netting on construction sites, but it hasn’t always been that way. It wasn’t until mid-way through the 20th century that the first instances of fall protection netting were used on construction sites. The first large scale use was during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, where safety netting was hung underneath the entire span of the bridge during construction.

Safety netting installed beneath The Golden Gate Bridge Safety netting was used during the construction of The Golden Gate Bridge.

Since then, there has been a gradual evolution of safety standards: which (unfortunately) were often a response to a tragic death or injury associated with a construction project. When OSHA was established in 1971, it was the result of decades of accidents which could have been prevented if there had been safety regulations which were required at the federal level. To this date, hundreds of injuries and deaths have been averted through the use of passive safety netting systems.

Why is passive safety the best way to protect a construction jobsite? Because human beings are fallible and accidents happen all the time through carelessness and poor decisions. The problem that occurs is that certain manufacturers are distributing horizontal safety nets systems which fail to meet the standards as set by ASTM, ASSE/ANSI, OSHA and The Army Corps of Engineers. In short this is what people are entitled to know about a safety netting system.

  • Workers and the public should be informed if a safety net system does not meet all industry standards and regulations.
  • Workers have a right to be trained and advised of the possibility of serious fall or impact injury because of cable and support locations.
  • The public has a right be protected from falling debris that could be deflected or miss the nets.
  • Safety netting systems should meet industry standards and have a proven safety record.
  • A netting system should provide safety to workers above the nets as well as below them and to the public at the ground level.
  • The competent person is responsible for knowing all of the standards, regulations, and laws. Any failures of safety protocols can result in litigation, fines or financial compensation.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Open exposed edges of buildings allow all types of things to fall off a building. Keep in mind you have multiple trades and many workers working on a high-rise building while the floors are still open and exposed. Most debris and exposure comes from the top floors. A properly designed system catches the Load by Deceleration and a soft catch: free from supports, cables and obstructions that can be hit by a falling worker or falling debris (See Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). Here are a list of requirements that a properly designed perimeter safety netting system should meet:

(1) 17,000 ft. lb. prototype tested and manufacturer’s labeled net in it. 

(2) Supports that are below and cannot be impacted by persons or debris. 

(3) It is compliant when installed within 30 ft. of the working floor. 

(4) The nets must extend out a minimum of 13 ft. Or it must be limited to protection less than 30 feet from the working surface as defined in the standards.

(5) The system design must pass a test with no significant residual distortion of the net pattern or the suspension system. The required test is a 400 lb. bag of sand dropped from 30 ft.

 (6) A competent person shall inspect each construction project” “where potential for falling debris exists and threatens persons or property.

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

If your project doesn’t seem to meet these straightforward requirements, you most likely have a non-compliant system on your construction site (See Fig. 3 and Fig. 4).

We have produced a Technical Paper which examines the issues involved with safety nets and perimeter safety netting systems. You can go to this link and download a copy.

Pucuda Leading Edge provides safety netting for fall protection and debris containment netting. They provide assistance to both owners and contractors through consulting, engineering, and installation assistance.

Port Discovery: From Factory to Installation

This year Pucuda was engaged to design, manufacture and install a climbing net system at Port Discovery Childrens Museum in Baltimore, MD. In this situation we were involved as a subcontractor to the firm Roto. Based in Dublin, Ohio, Roto is a full service design and manufacturing firm, specializing in exhibits for museums, science centers and other attractions. Pucuda was brought into the project because of our experience and knowledge regarding climbing net structures.

The SkyClimber climbing structure being constructed in Port Discovery Children's Museum.

Roto involved us during the project’s conceptual design phase: in particular those elements which involved our climb netting. This is our preferred way to work with a client. When we are brought in during the design phase of a project, we are able to give input and advice which makes a project more successful for everyone.

A netted climbing tunnel at Port Discovery Children's Museum. A tunnel made from climbing netting.After looking at prototype models for sections of the Roto units we were able to advise attachment locations and methods before fabrication of the structure started. On location at Port Discovery, where a huge remodeling effort was underway, there were many contractors involved in different phases of the project.

A ship being constructed in a children's museum.

Steel workers were assembling the skyclimber structure even as carpenters were building a ship that is the centerpiece of the interactive port in the museum. Pucuda was carrying out the climb netting install while electricians, painters and flooring specialists were doing their jobs. It was a very busy work site.

The climbing structure during construction at Port Discovery Children's Museum. A worker installing netting in a climbing structure.

A crane beside the SkyClimber at Port Discovery. The form of a boat takes shape under The SkyClimber at Port Discovery. The Sky Climber arches above the boat at Port Discovery Children's Museum.Multicolored climbing nets installed in The SkyClimber. The SkyClimber and it's netted tunnels arch over the freshly painted boat.The the climbing leg of multicolored SkyClimber. A massive looping steel slide is installed beside The SkyClimber at Port Discovery. A steel slide twists from the top of the SkyClimber to the floor below.In addition to manufacturing and installing all climbing and barrier netting in the Climber Unit, Pucuda was also responsible for all the netting and activities in The Think Tank. This is a partially wheelchair accessible elevated area, which features soft play opportunities for people with disabilities.

A netted recreation area for individuals with disabilities. The Think Tank is a place where people with disabilities can play. A seat on a rope.

When the structures at Port Discovery’s playscape were finally completed, it was a great example of teamwork in all phases of the project. All of the elements of the museum redesign were beautifully conceived and executed, blending together in an immersive learning experience for children. It was a project which everyone at Pucuda-Leading Edge was proud to participate in.

A panoramic scene of Port Discovery Children's Museum.In summation, we’d like to showcase the revolutionary netting product used in Roto’s climbing structures at Port Discovery: our patented Shrinking NetTM. This net is custom made by hand from our Shrinking Rope and is one of our most popular products. It’s usually used in situations where a platform net is required because it is highly resilient and provides a durable non-sagging climbing experience. Because of its’ patented design and materials, the netting tightens when water is applied: this results in a tight installation of the net — with no sagging. We produce our climbing net in 19 brilliant colors. Check out the brochures on our website for more information. Or better yet, call us up for a sample!

Making climb netting by hand. A sliver climbing net. A teal climbing net is made by hand.


Pucuda Leading Edge provides climbing netting, barrier netting and safety netting for amusement parks, science centers, children’s museums and waterparks all over the world.


The Epic Construction of One Vanderbilt Ave, New York City

Conceptual rendering of One Vanderbilt, in New York City.

One Vanderbilt Ave, in New York City is nearing its completion. This new Leed Certified tower is rising beside historic Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan. The project started in 2015 with the demolition of a group of older early 20th century era buildings that occupied the block bounded by Madison Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, and 42nd and 43rd Streets. Watch this time lapse video showing the demolition of the buildings on the site of the future tower:

One Vanderbilt Ave under construction

One Vanderbilt Ave, under construction in New York City.New York City has undergone a construction boom in the last 20 years, which has seen many new super tall buildings join the skyline. Starting with the construction of One World Trade Center, super tall structures have sprouted all over the city as new zoning regulations have allowed for larger buildings to be designed and constructed in neighborhoods that hadn’t changed for decades.

As a requirement to obtain the building permits to commence construction, the property owners had to purchase “air rights” from the owner of Grand Central Station and agree to MTA mandated improvements to access to the historic station and Lexington Avenue subway lines.

Conceptual rendering of One Vanderbilt Ave, in New York City.

Concept Illustration Courtesy KPF-SL-Green,NYC

When One Vanderbilt Ave is completed, it will be the 4th tallest building in New York City, with a roof topping out at 1,301 feet, and spire that rises to 1,401 feet. Although taller than other New York City high-rise towers, it will have only 67 floors (due to floor heights of 14 to 24 feet).

Pucuda-Leading Edge was called in to provide perimeter safety netting and custom curtain netting systems for the tower spire above the 61st floor. The systems were trucked in on a flatbed truck and then lifted by crane to the 60th floor, where they were initially installed. There are two separate perimeter safety net systems on the spire, which will be individually moved upwards as it is completed.

Pucuda Leading Edge provides safety netting for fall protection and debris containment netting. They provide assistance to both owners and contractors through consulting, engineering, and installation assistance.


The Empire State Building: Race to the Sky

The Empire State Building during construction, raises far above the rest of the neighborhood.

Between the years of 1929-1931 there was a race between real estate developers in New York City to construct the world’s tallest building. In the years leading up to the Great Financial collapse which lead to The Great Depression, there was a construction frenzy in New York. During this period, three buildings in Manhattan were in competition to eclipse the height of The Woolworth Building: The Chrysler Building, 40 Wall Street and finally The Empire State Building. Built during the art deco design style of the early 20th century, all three buildings are singular monuments to that era in architectural design and construction.

Competing architects, builders and financiers were intent on achieving the distinction of erecting the tallest structure in the world. Initially the battle went back and forth between 40 Wall Street and The Chrysler Building. That struggle involved multiple redesigns and additions of floors, but both buildings were ultimately limited by the size of their initial footprints as to how high they could build. 40 Wall Street would top out at 925 feet, while the Chrysler Building was only finalized when a 125 FT spire was added to the top of The Chrysler Building: its’ final height was 1,046 FT. This hard fought rivalry to win “The Race to the Sky” was finalized when The Empire State Building achieved a roof height of 1,250 FT and a total height of 1,454 FT, including its’ antenna.

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 5th Avenue and 33rd Street.

The Empire State Building in the first days of construction.The Empire State Buildings’ location had been the site of the original Waldorf Astoria Hotel, built in 1893 by the Astor family. By the late 1920s it was perceived as outdated and the property sold to the developers of The Empire State Building in 1929. It was demolished later that same year. Construction on the new building started on March 17 of 1930.

Workers move steel beams during construction of The Empire State Building.

Steel workers wait to load steel beams on a crane.Steel workers walk the beams of the Empire State Building during its construction.The Empire State Building during its construction, raises far above the rest of the neighborhood.The amount of material used to construct the building was more than any previous construction project. The steel ordered for the structure exceeded the amount used in both The Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street combined. Building materials came in from all over the country. Limestone came from a quarry in Indiana, steel from Pittsburgh, cement from upstate New York, marble from Italy, France and England, hardware from the New England states and wood from the American Northwest.

Steel workers putting rivets into a steel column on the Empire State Building.

A steel worker climbs a cable. A worker tightens a bolt on a column during the construction of the Empire State Building.The construction manpower employed was more than 3,500 people at its highest. These laborers were immigrants from Ireland and Italy, with a sizable number of Mohawk Indians from Upstate New York and Canada. A primary focus of site management was to keep materials continually feeding construction. There were a series of cranes and derricks which lifted materials from the trucks below, while hoists and other lifts inside the structure enabled speedy movement of materials upwards.

The Chrysler Building is seen in the distance from the Empire State Building, during it's construction.

With an incredible rate of four and half floors completed each week, it outpaced the construction pace of the nearby Chrysler Building. It was completed a mere thirteen and a half months and opened on May 1, 1931. In its race to be the biggest structure ever erected, there had been several fatalities. Officially, 5 laborers died, while its’ neighbor the Chrysler building suffered no fatalities during its own construction. Including the demolition of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the total cost of construction was $40,948,900.00: in today’s dollars that would equal approximately $554,644,100.00.

Steel workers applying rivets to a column.

A steel worker balances on a beam.Two steel workers balance on a beam, waiting for a crane to raise cargo.Workmen apply rivets to a beam of The Empire State Building.What’s important to note is that these three giant towers of the Art Deco age were built before the advent of modern safety standards and measures. There weren’t any hard hats, or perimeter safety netting systems, specified work clothes, tie-off locations or regulations to protect workers. Even though the International Union of Ironworkers fought for workers’ rights and some individual project engineers specified safety measures, it wasn’t until state and federal regulations emerged that minimum safety conditions were required on all work sites.

A color photo of The Completed Empire State Building.The Empire State building remained the world’s tallest building for 40 years until the North Tower of the World Trade Center surpassed it in height in 1970. After the destruction of the World Trade Center complex during the September 11th Attacks, in 2001, it briefly became the 2nd tallest building in the Americas. It is currently the 44th tallest building in the world and the 6th tallest in the Americas. As an internationally recognized symbol of New York City, it was awarded city landmark status and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. It receives 3 million visitors annually.

All B/W photos courtesy of The New York Public Library.


Pucuda Leading Edge provides safety netting for fall protection and debris containment. They provide assistance to both owners and contractors through consulting, engineering, and installation assistance.


From Design, to Factory, to Installation

Last year Pucuda was hired to design and manufacture a climbing net playscape for a children’s science center in Canada. We like to be engaged in the early stages of projects, because we bring solutions to the table, before manufacturing starts. In this situation, Pucuda was a subcontractor to the project designer and the client wanted our input about design options, etc. We wound up playing a direct role in designing all the hardware for the project.

A design for rocket-ship climbing structure.

Initially, the dialogue had been about making a climbing structure, which would lead up to a netted platform. The initial concept design was for a rocket ship, with an entrance on the ground level, several interior climbing levels and an egress point at the netted platform level. After some consideration and discussion with the venue owner and project initiators, the decision was to make the netted structure a tornado. They wanted a free form structure that was more organic and represented something in the natural world. They also wanted a slide incorporated into the design. So we went back to drawing board.

A concept drawing showing a hurricane shaped playscape for a children's museum.

The client wanted a vertical tube that echoed the shape of a tornado. The colors that they wanted, were blue, aqua, silver and purple. The challenge for Pucuda, was to create a climbing net constructed of bands of colors that would wrap upwards in a spiral, creating a tapered tunnel. We had to account not only for a shape which gets larger towards the top, but colored rope which needed to line up in a pattern.

Making a tube whose color’s spiral is a challenge, but when the form expands as it rises, a pattern needs to line up and accommodate spatial changes. A flat net wrapped in a tube wouldn’t work. The solution came through John Rexroad’s combination of geometry, design, and art. Using closely guarded company knowledge and techniques, Pucuda manufactured a tapered tornado with a multicolored pattern that conforms to changes in its shape.

A Colorful climbing net being manufactured by hand.

With 30 years of experience designing artistic net systems for amusement parks, monuments and buildings, we knew we’d be beyond successful. The next hurdle to be tackled, was designing the armature which would support our climbing system using a single vertical pole. The system would use large circular rings, that would primarily be supported at the top with cables and then by the net itself.

When Pucuda designs a climbing net playscape, we usually also install the netting on location. This was one of the rare situations, where the client opted to do the installation work themselves. So we created a series of videos to teach installation techniques for the different sections of the climbing net structure. In this case, the central core of the netted platform and the tornado was made out of our patented Shrinking Net®. The rest of the netting was non-shrinking barrier netting.

A climbing playscape being installed in a children's museum. A climbing net system made with shrinking net being installed in a children's museum.A hurricane shaped climbing net tunnel, with an attached slide.












Our Shrinking Net™ is one of our most popular products. It’s usually used as an inclined climbing net because it is highly resilient and provides a sturdy no-sagging climbing experience. Due to its’ patented design and materials, the netting tightens when water is applied: this results in a tight installation of the net — with no sagging. We produce our climbing net in many brilliant colors. Check out the brochures on our website for more information. Or better yet, call us up to design your structure!

Pucuda Leading Edge provides climbing netting, barrier netting and safety netting for amusement parks and waterparks all over the world.

Steel Erectors Safety Net System™

A safety netting system for steel structures.

Pucuda-Leading Edge has set the standard for the perimeter safety netting which is used during the construction phase of high-rise towers, commercial warehouses and distribution centers. Several years ago we were asked to develop a new construction safety netting system to be used with steel frame structures. While iron workers are renowned for their sure footed work, recent incidents involving falls have put pressure on contractors to control job site injuries. A single fatal incident on a construction site can send insurance rates skyrocketing for builders.

The Steel Erectors Net System™ is designed to protect the open spans between columns and beams. As agile as steel workers are, there have been situations where laborers have stepped off a beam and fallen to the floors below. A fall of just a few feet can be fatal.






Our system is attached to structural vertical columns. It employs a system of specialized ropes (that rival steel cables), which are threaded through proprietary hardware positioned on a column. These ropes are then attached to the corners of our specially designed net panels, allowing work crews to raise or lower them.

Installing a safety netting system for steel frame buildings A safety netting system being installed on a steel frame building

The intended location for our Steel Erectors Net System™, is just below the regular working surface. After the initial flooring for the working level is completed, the bracket hardware is easily relocated to the next stage and the netting panels reattached. The structural steel contractor can make the decision about instillation procedure. Depending on access issues, some contractors set up our brackets in their steel staging area: installing the hardware (and ropes) in the desired location, before lifting the column into position on the structure. Contractors can self-identify the installation timing and procedures that works best on their particular job.

This system can be adapted for different structural steel designs, so please contact us with your project.

A Safety netting system for steel frame structures A safety netting system for steel frame structures. Pucuda Leading Edge provides safety netting for steel erectors, fall protection and debris containment. They provide assistance to both owners and contractors through consulting, engineering, and installation assistance.

Indoor Activity Centers Come of Age


In the last few years there has been a seismic shifting of consumer’s shopping habits. A challenge for large brick-and-mortar retail centers from online shopping has disrupted the traditional focal point of the local mall from retail shopping to an office and entertainment destination. Indoor activity centers and gyms are starting to fill these large spaces. We’ve supplied products to many of these conversion projects: in particular trampoline parks and indoor amusement centers.







Pucuda has been providing netting systems to indoor activity venues, such as trampoline parks for decades. Whether its barrier netting, redundant safety netting installed under trampoline beds, climbing nets or entire obstacle and ropes courses, we have the best products for many different applications.

Many activity centers need to separate play areas. Barrier netting products not only define a play area’s perimeter, they offer a safety function by keeping flying objects and visitors within a defined location.  Our barrier netting products are available in different colors or any shape and size.


Trampoline Parks are now diversifying their indoor activities with obstacle courses and ninja style activities and challenge courses. They are also adding foam pits and climbing rope playscapes. Pucuda also manufactures ninja bags and all the objects that are popular. Another recent product addition has been custom padding. There are plenty of manufactures of padding for gyms, but Pucuda designs and manufactures padding which is site specific and which uses the best attachment methods.

If you are designing an indoor activity venue and are looking for ideas and products, give us a call.

Pucuda Leading Edge designs and manufactures climb netting, barrier netting, safety netting, structures and activities for science centers, amusement parks and waterparks all over the world.

Construction Site Safety: Then and Now

Two construction workers work without the benefit of safety equipment
A crane being inspected during the construction of 1 World Trade Center. Photo, AP: Joe Woolhead
A crane being inspected during the construction of 1 World Trade Center. Photo, AP: Joe Woolhead

Work site safety has dramatically changed and been improved in the last 100 years. But only because workers fought for the institution of safety requirements in industries such as mining, steel production, construction and general manufacturing.

There were no generalized requirements for construction safety, or fall protection netting on construction projects. Children routinely worked in nearly every field of manual labor until 1938 when The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed and a minimum working age of 16 years old was established.

Children working in a textile mill before child labor laws were instituted in the United States of America.
Children working in a textile mill. Photo: Library of Congress

In the late 19th Century, steel had virtually replaced wood and stone as the primary building material in the erection of bridges and buildings. At that time, for about two dollars per day, a worker could risk his life on high structures. With the rise of the industrial revolution and steam power, the use of crane use in construction became commonplace.

Two steel workers straddle a beam during the construction of The Empire State Building.
A worker straddles a beam during the construction of The Empire State Building. Photo NYC Public Library

The cranes were used to hoist steel girders into place, and the iron workers used rivets to connect the girders to the columns of a structure. The mortality rate of iron workers was the highest of all building trades, and they would be lucky to go 10 years without a serious or fatal injury. At the end of the 1900s, the International Union of Ironworkers would emerge from concern for safety on the job and the lack of protection for workers.

During the 19th century and throughout the 1930s, laborers rarely wore safety headgear in construction or mining operations. Ironically, during World War I, nations equipped millions of their soldiers with combat helmets, but failed to see a need for similar protection for construction workers back home. In 1910 New York State was the first state to pass a Worker’s Compensation Law that set fixed rates of compensation for injuries on the job. After this initial first step, 44 states passed workers comp laws between 1911 and 1921.

Laborers working on the construction of The Empire Sate Building.
Workers who labored on the construction of The Empire State Building didn’t have the benefit of modern safety regulations or equipment. Photo: NYC Public Library

Just after World War I, the E.D. Bullard Company, a mining equipment firm, designed and patented a “hard-boiled hat” made of steamed canvas, glue and black paint. During the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931, hard hat use was mandated by Six Companies, Inc. In 1933, during construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, construction workers were required to wear hard hats, by order of Joseph Strauss, chief project engineer. Strauss, a safety visionary, strove to create safer work conditions by installing construction safety nets and requiring hard hats to be worn while on the job site.

But work site safety issues and injury rates rose and fell during the Great Depression and during World War II with employee turnover and economic booms. Safety was less important on work sites during strong economic times as companies pushed productivity while trading off on workplace safety. It wasn’t until after World War II and the growth of powerful labor unions in the United States, that safe workplace conditions became an issue that led to legislative action.

In 1970 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to monitor and record workplace accidents and injuries. Its mission was to establish federal safety guidelines for all industries. While individual states, may have their own safety requirements, they are required to meet the minimum Federal standards as written by OSHA. While some industries may complain about federal overreach, there is no doubt that the guidelines which OSHA produces have saved many lives and prevented countless workplace injuries over the years.

Pucuda Leading Edge provides safety net systems for fall protection and debris containment. They provide assistance to both owners and contractors through consulting, engineering, and installation assistance.