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Untrained Personnel Cause Steel Erection Accidents

Case 1: A general contractor requested help from a carpentry crew to erect a 50-foot steel beam and columns. Neither the contractor nor any of the carpentry crew were trained in steel erection. The steel beam was raised into position using two forklifts, and guy wires were set at one end, but the column footing bolts were not secured, and only one guy wire was attached at the other end. When the forklift sling was released, the column leaned over and the weight and force of the beam pulled the turnbuckle apart. The beam then fell onto the lift, knocking one employee to the concrete floor. He landed on his back and head, sustaining severe head injuries, and was transported by helicopter to a local hospital for treatment.

Case 2: Two carpenters, who were not adequately trained to do steel erection work, were attempting to set a 30-foot I-beam on a concrete block wall 15 feet high. They released the spanner connection from the hoist line before the I-beam was secured to the bearing plates. The beam tipped and fell, along with the two employees, to the concrete floor. One employee required surgery for multiple broken bones in his wrists and arms. The other employee was hospitalized for back, neck and head injuries.


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