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OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

DOL Logo OSHA National News Release

U.S. Department of Labor

National News Release USDL: 01-24
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999


Iron workers in America are safer under a new rule issued today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The new rule on steel erection, developed in concert with industry and union groups, is expected to prevent 30 fatalities and 1,142 injuries annually and save employers nearly $40 million a year.

"The new steel erection rule proves that cooperation and hard work have their rewards," said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. "When industry and labor work together, we can save lives."

The steel erection rule is the first OSHA safety standard developed under the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990 and the Department's Negotiated Rulemaking Policy. The rule was developed by members of the Steel Erection Negotiated Rulemaking Advisory Commmittee(SENRAC), representing employers and employees significantly affected by the standard.

"Every year, an average of 35 iron workers die during steel erection activities and 2,300 more suffer lost workday injuries,"said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "This standard will help prevent many of those fatalities and injuries. I commend business and labor interests for working together to develop this standard."

The standard enhances protections provided to iron workers by addressing the hazards that have been identified as the major causes of injuries and fatalities in the steel erection industry. These are hazards associated with working under loads; hoisting, landing and placing decking; column stability; double connections; landing and placing steel joints; and falls to lower levels.

The final rule protects all workers engaged in steel erection activities. It does not cover electric transmission towers, communications towers, broadcast towers, water towers or tanks.

SENRAC included representatives of the International Association of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers, United Steelworkers of America, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department, National Erectors Association, the Associated General Contractors of America and the Associated Builders and Contractors.

SENRAC began negotiations on the revised steel erection standard in June of 1994 and presented OSHA with its consensus proposed rule in July of 1997. OSHA published a proposed final rule for public comment on August 13, 1998 and held public hearings from December 1-11, 1998. The final rule will become effective July 17, 2001.

OSHA's final steel erection standard is scheduled for publication in the January 18, 2001, issue of the Federal Register.

A fact sheet about the rule is attached.

# # #

This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.



Key provisions of the revised steel erection standard include:

Site Layout and Construction Sequence

  • Requires certification of proper curing of concrete in footings, piers, etc. for steel columns.

  • Requires controlling contractor to provide erector with a safe site layout including pre-planning routes for hoisting loads.

Site-Specific Erection Plan

  • Requires pre-planning of key erection elements, including coordination with controlling contractor before erection begins, in certain circumstances.

Hoisting and Rigging

  • Provides additional crane safety for steel erection.

  • Minimizes employee exposure to overhead loads through pre-planning and work practice requirements.

  • Prescribes proper procedure for multiple lifts (christmas-treeing).

Structural Steel Assembly

  • Provides safer walking/working surfaces by eliminating tripping hazards and minimizes slips through new slip resistance requirements.

  • Provides specific work practices regarding safely landing deck bundles and promoting the prompt protection from fall hazards in interior openings.

Column Anchorage

  • Requires 4 anchor bolts per column along with other column stability requirements.

  • Requires procedures for adequacy of anchor bolts that have been modified in the field.

Beams and Columns

  • Eliminates extremely dangerous collapse hazards associated with making double connections at columns.

Open Web Steel Joists

  • Requirements minimizing collapse of lightweight steel joists by addressing need for erection bridging and method of attachment.

  • Requirements for bridging terminus anchors with illustrations and drawings in a non-mandatory appendix (provided by SJI).

  • New requirements to minimize collapse in placing loads on steel joists.

Systems-Engineered Metal Buildings

  • Requirements to minimize collapse in the erection of these specialized structures which account for a major portion of steel erection in this country.

Falling Object Protection

  • Performance provisions that address hazards of falling objects in steel erection.

Fall Protection

  • Controlled decking zone (CDZ) provisions to prevent decking fatalities.

  • Deckers in a CDZ and connectors must be protected at heights greater than two stories or 30 feet. Connectors between 15 and 30 feet must wear fall arrest or restraint equipment and be able to be tied off or be provided another means of fall protection.

  • Requires fall protection for all others engaged in steel erection at heights greater than 15 feet.


  • Requires qualified person to train exposed workers in fall protection.

  • Requires qualified person to train exposed workers engaged in special, high risk activities

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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