Reduce Spread of Coronavirus in Construction with While the world continues to wait for a vaccine for COVID-19, employers will need to remain up to date and vigilant on safety protocols on the jobsite, especially as we head into the winter months.
A study, published on October 29, 2020, by the University of Texas at Austin, found a connection
between construction sites that did not have COVID-19 restrictions in place, and higher hospitalization rates in surrounding areas. The study, based on residents in the Austin-Round Rock metro area, discovered that the risk of coronavirus hospitalization in the construction industry is five times more than other occupations. However, on construction sites where safety measures were in place, including equipment cleaning, protective equipment and limits on worker capacity, transmission risk was decreased by 50%.
As of October 30, 2020, OSHA has cited 144 establishments, with penalties totaling over $2 million
dollars. While the majority of violations are in healthcare and food processing, the construction industry can use this information to better understand what the most frequent citations are.
It is recommended by the CDC and OSHA that employers create a plan to protect employees to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on construction job sites. CPWR has created an Exposure Control Planning Tool that can help employers develop a written plan to help protect employees, keep job sites open, and help prevent delays.
In addition, plans are underway for the 2021 George R. Pocock Memorial Golf Tournament and a tour of Universal Studios. Headlining the convention will be speaker Bob McCall, President of Inspire High Performance, LLC. He will draw on more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry to address leadership, culture, expectations, and behaviors that need to be changed. McCall will follow up his inspirational opening presentation, 5 Steps to Improving your Team’s Safety Performance, with a workshop later in the week.
The convention will include other sessions on management or field topics. Plus, winners of the annual Project of the Year competition will present case studies of their structural steel erection jobs.
Registration is now open online for exhibitors and attendees. Learn more at seaa.net/events.
How to become a SEAA/NCCER Training Unit/Assessment Site
Tim Eldridge, SEAA’s Craft Training and Assessment Administrator, will discuss how to become a
member of SEAA’s network of Craft Training providers. Participation in the program provides SEAA
member companies with access to nationally recognized credentials for ironworkers. Benefits include reduced costs and administrative requirements. Because of SEAA’s affiliation with NCCER, members also have access to the dozens of other construction craft training materials, assessments, and certifications.
Common Rigging Mistakes
Scott Seppers, a former rigger and ironworker, warns that employers should never assume those doing rigging have all the knowledge and training to account for the many variables affecting rigging scenarios. Drawing on 19 years of field experience and leadership as a general foreman and trainer for Trivent Safety Consulting, Seppers will identify some of the most common mistakes made in rigging.
Make Your Quality System Work for You
Continuous change to the AISC Certification program keeps erectors scrambling to keep up with Quality and Safety Management Systems. Lee Pielaet of Pioneer Steel Services, Inc., has conducted more than 1,000 AISC audits. He’ll share his experience to help erectors achieve, manage, and upgrade AISC certifications.
Structural Steel Field Fixes & Solutions
Problems encountered during construction and erection of structural steel buildings often requires field fixes. Dr. James Fisher, Ph.D., P.E., is Vice President Emeritus for CSD Structural Engineers. He will share case studies, common problems, and how to respond when they occur.
Workforce Development is a Team Effort
A panel discussion, moderated by Tracy Bennett, SEAA’s Managing Editor of Connector and marketing consultant, includes experts representing technical education, craft training, curriculum development, and apprenticeship. The discussion will include trends in CTE education, practical tips for establishing workforce development and how to get funding for training and apprenticeships.
Top Notch Networking
SEAA’s focused trade show offers erector and fabricator companies to see the latest products, services and innovations they need for safer, more productive work sites. Regularly rated as a favorite part of the meeting by attendees, exhibitors are encouraged to reserve booths early as space is limited.
Join SEAA in Tampa, Fla., on January 21, 2021, for a Meet and Greet reception following the Board of Directors meeting. The reception provides members and non-members an opportunity to get to know other steel erection contractors in the area and learn more about how SEAA supports its members through advocacy, best practices, and shared resources. At the event, you can find out how the association can help you implement ironworker craft training through the SEAA/NCCER Craft Training Program. RSVP for the reception online.
NCCER’s new Find a Center training map lets craft trainees and entry-level workers search over 3,300 locations open to the public. Users can filter by location and specific crafts, such as welding, pipefitting or carpentry, to find training in their area.
For experienced craft professionals looking to take a journey-level assessment, the Find a Center
assessment map provides testing facilities by location or company name. NCCER’s complete series of journey-level written assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. Check out the map and view a directory of accredited organizations.
This month, SEAA spotlights members Gardner-Watson Decking & Gardner-Watson Studs. The Florida-based sister companies are currently working on a massive, 3.8 million sq. ft. Amazon facility in Wilmington, DE, pictured above.
Previously, GW Deck has completed work at the new Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL and at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. Click here to see photos and an extensive list of GW Deck's past work.
Gardner-Watson Decking has been in business since 2005, installing approximately 35,000,000 square feet of metal deck annually. To complement this highly successful outfit, Gardner-Watson Studs was founded in 2019, allowing for the provision of turn-key services for customers.
GW Studs can be found online at www.gwstuds.com
GW Decking can be found online at www.gwdeck.com
We encourage you to follow both Gardner-Watson Decking and Gardner-Watson Studs on Facebook to keep up with the latest. If your company would like to participate, submit your information here.
Bar joists are popular for steel construction, because they are economical and strong. However, working with bar joists come with many hazards until they are completely installed and under deck.
Historically, building collapses and accidents occurred during bar joist installation. OSHA Subpart R 1926.750 specifically addresses procedures to prevent structural collapse and/or injury. Unfortunately, there are still erectors that do not understand these rules and procedures.
The hazards start with unloading and continue through each step of construction, including hoisting, laying out, placing, connecting, welding, burning, guying, bracing, bolting, and rigging bar joists. Training employees on how to properly install bar joists and their potential safety hazards is crucial to prevent injuries and structural collapse.
Give your employees the proper training to understand clearly how to erect joists safely. Reviewing and following these best practices will reduce the chances of collapse and possible injuries.
Inspect the load before the chains are taken off the truck. Often banding is broken during delivery. If the driver releases chains with broken bands, bar joists can fall off the truck, creating a crushing hazard. If they are not properly banded, take precautions such as basketing with proper sized wire rope slings and holding the joists in place with a crane or forklift before releasing or breaking the chains. You might also possibly re-band the loads while they are being held by the crane or forklift, to re-secure them.
As unloading begins, do not break the banding while the joists are in the vertical position. This is a common mistake. Instead, lay all joist and girders flat prior to breaking shipping bands. Once joists are laid out in the laydown area, they will need to be sorted and bundled according to sequence of erection.
Before building erection begins, bracing and fall protection plans must be established.
Use proper methods for landing joists and placing loads on joists. Although there are several options for doing so, it is an area where poor practices are commonly used. Landing joists can be done by setting a bundle in a bay, landing a single joist, or by panelizing.
When landing bundles, the bundle must be secured prior to being released from the crane or forklift. As the erector begins shaking the joist out, OSHA requires that each steel joist must be attached to the support structure. This must be on at least at one end on both sides of the seat, immediately upon placement in the final erection position and before additional joists are placed. It is not permitted to shake the entire bundle out and then go back and weld in place. Even with a site-specific erection plan, OSHA states that erectors are required to keep decking bundled within 1 ft. of the beam/girder line.
When landing a single joist, the erector needs to understand how many rows of bridging must be installed prior to releasing the bar joist from the crane or prior to placing loads on the joists. When panelizing, the panel/joist must be attached at the four corners prior to releasing from the crane.
OSHA 1926.757 Steel Erection
Attachment of steel joists and steel joist girders
Erection of steel joists.
Landing and placing loads.
Ironworkers: On the Safe Side: Erecting Open We Steel Joist
Steel Joist Institute 2008 “Technical Digest No. 9, Handling and Erection of Steel Joists and Joist Girders
AISC: 2017 NASCC The Steel Conference Presentation, "Safe and Efficient Installation of Steel Joists and Metal Deck"
Ironworkers: On the Safe Side: Erecting Open We Steel Joist
This Safety Flash was contributed by Ed Valencia, Safety Director, Derr & Gruenwald Construction in cooperation with SEAA’s Safety Committee. It is designed to keep members informed about ongoing safety issues and to provide suggestions for reducing risk. Best practices are gathered from a variety of sources. They may be more or less stringent than individual corporate policies, and are not intended to be an official recommendation from SEAA. Always get approval and direction from your company officers on any new practice or procedure as these best practices may not work for all situations.
Everyone benefits when a worker avoids injury. Submit your ideas for Safety Flash
SEAA is preparing its 2021 editorial calendar for Connector magazine. We’d like to know what you are interested in reading about next year. Topics can be on technology, steel erection challenges,
management processes, practical field issues or techniques, etc. Submit your suggestions
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our archive of past magazines is available online.
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September 14, 2020 (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Three companies have joined the Steel Erectors Association of America’s (SEAA) network of SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Training Units and Assessment Sites. Participation in the program grants SEAA member companies access nationally recognized credentials for ironworkers, crane operators and rigger/signal persons. Erection Welding Contractors, LLC, Pro Steel Erectors Inc., and Evolution Safety Resources bring the number of participating companies to 27 across the nationwide network.