Safety With Steelwork

Hazards

  • Operatives falling from height are a common source of injury.  Ensure that you are never at risk from falling.
  • Falling tools and materials are a hazard to others when you are working at height.
  • Electrocution from live overhead electrical cables may be a hazard.
  • Many cranes have toppled during lifting operations because of poor technique.
  • There is always a danger of impact injuries, including head injuries, when beams are being lifted and installed.

 Precautions

  • Erection will invariably involve the use of a crane – all lifts must be supervised by a competent person and involve the use of qualified banksman and slingers. Competent trained operatives only to operate machinery with banksman if appropriate. Machinery to have been inspected as per LOLER regulations and certificates supplied.
  • When working at height, work from a stable working platform with edge protection. Visually check the area for overhead cables and read the method statements before work commences.
  • When a platform is not practical, wear an inspected safety harness and anchorage point at all times.
  • Be aware of the dangers to others below – cordon off the area at ground level. Ensure that brick guards/kick boards are in place on scaffolding and use tool belts wherever possible. Do not leave tools unattended or overreach from ladders. Remember the 3 points of contact rule when using ladders. Keep third parties in the area to a minimum and use exclusion zones wherever practicable.
  • The use of cranes over long periods will mean that you may have to consider:
    • Whether the ground conditions can support the crane
    • The area required by the crane as it slews – including, in some cases consideration for the general public.
    • The proximity of buried ducts or pipes which may affect crane stability.
  • Always wear the appropriate PPE.
  • Don’t move along beams by ‘straddling’ unless absolutely necessary.
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