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Structural Steelwork

Hazard Related Topics


Structural steelwork forms an integral part of many construction projects. This topic is intended to alert the user to some of the principal hazards involved in the operations and also towards some of the possible control measures which might be utilised on the site.

Some Principal Hazards and Risks

  • Collapse - in storage areas due to incorrect stacking and in the erection process due to inadequate ties, struts or bracing, incomplete assembly or excessive loading.
  • Falls from height - caused by unsafe working platforms or unsafe access to places of work.
  • Noise and vibration - caused by bolting, drilling and reaming.
  • Hazardous operations - cutting/welding, descaling or painting.
  • Manual handling - during placement operations.
  • Falling objects - caused by poorly slung loads during off loading, by objects falling from working platforms etc.
  • Harmful substances - paints, greases, electricity, burning, welding etc.
  • Trapping hazards - during placement of steelwork, closure of joints etc.

Some Methods of Control

  • Place steelwork straight from the transport.
  • Pre-assemble at ground level and hoist into place, thus reducing the need for connections at height.
  • Ensure safe working platforms are provided and that they are fitted with toe boards where necessary.
  • Minimise the need for welding by using bolted connections.
  • Ensure safety zones are established below work at height.
  • Ensure adequate storage space is provided and that safe stacking procedures are used.