Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Steel Erection eTool


Training [29 CFR 1926.761]

In steel erection, training is a key element in the employer's accident prevention program. Since the employer can choose the provider, method and frequency of training that is appropriate for the employees being trained, the employer has flexibility in developing and implementing a training program. However, to achieve increased safety in steel erection, the following requirements must be implemented in all training programs.

Employee training must be provided by a qualified person. [29 CFR 1926.761(a)]

Case Reports:

  • 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.
  • 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.
Fall training

Fall training

All employees exposed to fall hazards must be trained and instructed in the following areas [29 CFR 1926.761(b)]:

  • The recognition and identification of fall hazards in the work area. [29 CFR 1926.761(b)(1)]
  • The use and operation of protective systems, such as guardrail systems, personal fall-arrest systems, positioning-device systems, fall- restraint systems, safety-net systems, and other protection to be used. [29 CFR 1926.761(b)(2)]
  • The correct procedures for erecting, maintaining, disassembling, and inspecting the fall protection systems to be used. [29 CFR 1926.761(b)(3)]
  • Procedures for protection from falls to lower levels and into holes and openings in walking/working surfaces and walls. [29 CFR 1926.761(b)(4)]
  • The fall protection requirements of this subpart. [29 CFR 1926.761(b)(5)]
Fall Results from Failure to Recognize Hazard

Case Report:

  • At the start of the shift on a cold, January day, an employee slid an impact wrench down a 1:12 pitch roof to position it near the edge. There was light frost on the roof, and the wrench was not slowing down. Fearing that it would go over the edge, the employee began running after the wrench. The foreman shouted, "No, Pat, no," but the employee continued, even diving after the wrench. He slid off the roof edge on his stomach and impacted approximately 23 feet down and 20 feet out from the building on the asphalt driveway. The steel erection standard in place at that time did not require fall protection on non-tiered buildings for fall hazards of less than 25 feet. Failure to recognize the fall hazard contributed to the accident.
Multiple lift

Multiple lift

The employer must also provide special training to employees involved in the following activities [29 CFR 1926.761(c)]:

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