A10.13 Steel Erection

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Safety Requirements for Steel Erection A10.13

The A10.13 standard is written and developed for companies and craftspeople so that they may erect steel structures and metal deck in a safe and effective manner. When used, it can prevent injuries and fatalities. Effective, safe erection methods must be planned. All equipment and personnel safety protection systems should be issued and used properly by trained and skilled craftspeople with safe behaviors.

Erecting structural steel creates many safety issues. Fall protection is the biggest challenge, but there are many ways to get hurt. Site conditions also present major challenges as only stable ground conditions can support equipment and steel members set on the ground until they can be raised into the air. Electrical wires in the erection area also can be a hazard if they cannot be shut down.

Falls generally cause the most severe injuries followed by caught-in-between-type injuries, such as getting limbs caught in between man-baskets and steel, and beams rolling over due to unstable ground conditions. Strains are also an issue, as iron work is similar to an athletic endeavor where one must push or pull to get something in place when the ironworker’s body is in a difficult position. Eyes and hands are a concern when one pounds on something and it slips or breaks. Walking and working surfaces cause their share of injuries (e.g., slips or strained knees, backs), especially during inclement weather conditions, such as rain or snow.

The emphasis on preplanning or building safety into the construction of steel structures will result in safer jobs and jobsites. This leads to having the equipment on the job when it is needed, and it leads to training and communicating to people on the specific task they perform at that time.

The industry continues to improve with better equipment and safety systems and the craftspeople are getting better trained and educated. I see a continuously evolving standard that reflects current safety thinking and new technology.

William H. Treharne, P.E., is director of engineering and administration for Midwest Steel Inc. and chair of the A10.13 standard subcommittee for steel erection. Throughout his career, William has held the positions of structural engineer, chief engineer, erection manager, general manager (fabrication division), general manager (construction division), chief estimator and vice president of operations. He also has experience in structural steel erection, steel and aluminum mill building, design and build projects, structural alterations to industrial plants, bridge erection and repairs, material handling system installation, including extensive experience in crane runway repairs and alterations and automated storage and retrieval system rack building design and build projects. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University.

 
 

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