Reducing Safety Hazards Before Steel Building Erection
When it comes to steel buildings, it is easy to assume the safety becomes a concern during the erection stage. After all, threats to the health and well-being of the people (including those involved in the building itself and the public) are most apparent during the construction phase. Though, safety is a concern from the very beginning of the project. Way before parts are assembled and put together, safety is already something that should be taken into consideration.
Safety during construction is only ensured if safety was made a priority prior to building what would be steel buildings for sale. Read on below to find out how the people’s safety is guaranteed from the design phase to the transportation phase.
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Planning for safety begins at the design phase. It is important to note that there are two distinct stages in the design phase of a steel building: structural design and erection design. In both stages, safety should already be a priority. When planning the design of the actual structure as well as its erection, the people involved—such as design engineers—should already think about whether the working conditions for contractors and laborer’s will be safe. If hazards are foreseen and addressed when the structure is being designed, it can be avoided during construction.
One of the hazards that can and should be addressed during the design phase is a collapse. It is always possible for a structure to collapse if the structure and its components are not strong enough to handle the structure’s own weight. If the building cannot hold its own weight, it will fall apart with imposed loads or other loads.
How can the risk of collapse be reduced? It all starts with the structural design engineer providing all the necessary details to the shop detailer and erection engineer so that these two can make the drawings and erection design accordingly. The said drawings and design should then be checked by the structural design engineer to make sure that they comply with what the structural design requires. Meanwhile, all those involved in the design should meet with those involved in fabrication, transportation, and erection to guarantee that the plan will be carried out correctly.
In this phase, managing risk (and in turn, ensuring safety) falls on the shoulders of the fabricator. This is because most of the hazards at this point has something to do with fabrication. People can get hurt and property can be damaged if the building has missing components or if parts are constructed poorly, thus resulting in a collapse. It is necessary that all steel components are complete and that they fit together perfectly to prevent accidents or injuries. Hence, the fabricator must identify all members and strictly follow the requirements for framing, brace and the like. Also, shop drawings must be complete and conform to the structural design drawings.
There is always the risk of injury when it comes to the process of loading, moving and unloading steel. To ensure safety throughout the entire process, several individuals must cooperate. These individuals are the fabricator, transporter, builder, and erector. They all have a shared responsibility when it comes to managing the hazards brought forth by the said process.It is the fabricator’s responsibility to make sure that there is a loading sequence that both he and the builder agrees to and that all steel components are marked prior to loading.
It is the transporter’s responsibility to make sure all steel components are secured and properly supported (so that it will not move before it is ready for lifting) and all necessary equipment needed for loading are prepared. It is also his job to check if the transport vehicle and the load are and will stay stable during unloading. Upon arrival at the site, he should see if the steel components have not moved in a perilous position and he must place the vehicle in the specified spot before releasing the steel restraints.
It is the builder’s responsibility to make sure the unloading area is level and firm and can handle the load capacity. He should also ensure that there is a plan for traffic management and the set-up area is big enough to allow efficient work.
Lastly, it is the erector’s responsibility to confirm that loads are secured properly before lifting and that they are lifted horizontally at a level manner. It is also his job to make sure that the workers have the proper protection during load lifting.