What Are The Best Steel Erection Practices?

Professional steel erectors make erecting steel look easy. But trust us, it's not simple.

More often than not, it's a matter of experience and intuition that's guiding steel erectors.

However, there are steel erection processes that every steel erector does or should follow for a successful project.

Every individual in the steel erection industry should know these best practices before performing steel erection activities.

In the article below, we will discuss a few of the best practices steel erectors should follow.

Table of Contents

 

Preparing For Structural Steel Erection

Proper preparation is critical for the successful outcome of any project in the construction industry.

All key players should come together to make a plan to perform their next project safely, on time, and on budget.

The time a team spends in preparation is by far the most important task a structural steel erection team will complete to ensure that the project's outcome is a success.

Structural Steel Erection Best Practices for Sequencing 

Sequencing your steel erection project is essential to a successful project.

Different terms can be used when talking about sequencing, like divisions, zones, and areas.

It's a good idea to get with the general contractor to find out what direction they're going to take in constructing the project.

Once you've met with the general contractor, the erector should figure out what size the divisions need to be based on his crane size and what direction he wants to move to be most productive.

The erector should also request interior access if it is needed.

Once the steel erection team is ready to go, they'll meet with the fabricator to get the steel sequenced.

If sequencing is required, it's essential to meet with the fabricator as soon as possible so they can fabricate according to the desired sequence.

It's a team effort to make sequencing flow smoothly.

The general contractor, erector, and fabricator all need to be on the same page.

It's even more important when you are working in a tight site with no lay-down room.

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Steel Erection Best Practices Regarding Safety

Safety is the most critical part of any project.

Safety allows each and every member of your steel erection team to make it home to their family at the end of their shift.

It's also very important financially because of the high costs of worker's compensation insurance.

If a steel erection company has too many accidents, it can make it tough to compete in the marketplace.

To ensure safety, you should:

  • Create a culture in your company that buys into safety every step of the way
  • Develop a written safety program and accident prevention guidelines for field construction
  • Require 100% fall protection over 6'
  • Make it mandatory to keep a well-organized and clean site and keep all tools and equipment in excellent shape.
  • Maintain a crew of highly trained and qualified ironworkers.

 

Site Visits Before Erection

Site visits before any steel erection activities begin serve several purposes and are worth the effort it takes to make them happen.

Sometimes a few site visits are necessary before you get ready to take on a new project.

It's also good for the erector to take the foreman running the project along on the visit.

One issue many erectors face is the general contractor trying to get the erector on-site before everything is ready.

Many projects run behind schedule, and the general contractor wants to gain some ground with the steel erection team.

But starting a project before it's ready can cost steel erectors a lot of money.

During your visit to the job site, you should check to see:

  • If there are powerlines that need to be moved or insulated
  • If there is adequate access to the site
  • If the lay-down area is easily accessible, properly graded, firm, and well-drained.
  • If the general contractor is on track to have foundations done by the start date.
  • If there will be enough foundations to have a continuous erection process.
  • If masonry walls or stud bearing walls will be ready.
  • If roof opening dimensions have been verified.
  • If there's anything in the way of where the crane will be placed.
  • If the project is in a flight path
  • If the project has stairs are they going to be on-site to hang when going up with steel?

Site visits can help make the steel erection process go smoother, and prevent costly delays. 

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Site-Specific Erection Plan

You should always have a site-specific erection plan reviewed and followed by every employee on every project.

Once the plan is created, the signature of the general contractor and steel erector should be on it.

It's also a good idea to have each employee sign it to document that they have read it.

Below are the components of a site-specific erection plan.

Before starting any steel erection activities, every worker needs to review the site-specific erection plan.

Your steel erection plan should include a site-specific hazard assessment and erection drawings and procedures for connecting the structural parts of a skeleton structure.

Your erection drawings and procedures should be prepared by a competent person and be made available to and reviewed by all workers before work begins.

These erection drawings and procedures must show the sequence in which the structure is erected.

They also need to ensure that the structure is stable during assembly and that any erection procedures added or changed on-site have been prepared by a competent person before they are used.

 

Work With The Best Steel Erectors With STEVENS

The job of a steel erector can be challenging, but it's also gratifying, especially if you work for a company like STEVENS.

STEVENS offers high-quality, pre-engineered steel buildings and can work on almost every steel structure. 

Our steel erectors will help you customize your facility to suit your exact needs, supply, and erect your pre-engineered steel building.

Our team of steel erectors takes pride in the relationships they build with their clients.

They will ensure that they meet their specific needs and requirements for every steel building project. 

If you're interested in a steel building project with a leading steel building erection company, STEVENS, click the button below to contact them today.

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Check out our other steel erection articles:

What Do Structural Steel Erectors Do?