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Structural Steelwork

Designers Knowledge Base


In specifying the use of structural steelwork in his design the designer should be aware of, and assess the risks from, the following principal hazards

Hazards and risks

  • falls from height caused by poor access, or the poor placement, or instability of working platforms
  • collapse of steelwork caused by unstable storage, excessive loading, inadequate ties, struts or bracing, incomplete assembly etc
  • noise and vibration caused by bolting, drilling, using powered hand tools
  • mobile plant during delivery, off-loading and slinging operations
  • lifting and handling during slinging and stacking operations
  • hazardous operations such as cutting, welding, descaling and painting
  • crushing/trapping during placing of steelwork, joint closing etc

Design considerations for elimination or reduction

In order to eliminate or mitigate some of the hazards and risks associated with structural steelwork the designer may wish to give consideration to the following design options:

  • consider ways to enable safe working on partially erected steel frames
  • assess possibility of pre-assembly of frames at ground level to reduce requirement to assemble at height
  • consider the specification of metal decking for composite slabs to help to stabilise the structure and provide safe working platforms
  • installation of staircases as early as possible to provide safe access
  • design an adequate base to allow safe working of mechanical lifting plant
  • consider the advantages of repetition and simplicity such as the specification of one size of bolt
  • ensure adequate bracing is provided as the frame is erected