By Bryan McClure
We currently live in a world with ever-changing challenges as it relates to fall protection. It used to be as simple as telling workers to “stay tied off 100% of the time.” Or “make sure your anchor point can support your pickup truck (5000 lbs.)!” At the time, it was a victory just to get workers to tie off. But since the early 1990s, there have been great strides in fall protection planning, training and
Product innovation has also helped to protect ironworkers from falls in ways we never expected 25
years ago. These innovations have led to a multitude of different products and manufacturers, all with different acceptable uses and component compatibilities. As a result, equipment is often used
incorrectly or in the wrong situations. These are three of the most common mistakes I frequently see on steel erection sites.
SEAA member company, American Steel & Precast Erectors (ASPE), Greenfield, N.H., is a second-generation family business. Serving Canada, New England, and Atlantic Coast, ASPE provides erecting, equipment rental, and project management services.
Last year, ASPE was the steel erector on a cancer research facility expansion project for EMD Serono in Billerica, Mass. The project, recently featured on ENR NewEngland, utilized Prevention through Design (PtD), a safety program centered around identifying and eliminating jobsite hazards before they happen. Through a collaborative effort from project managers, architects, engineers, fabricators, and erectors, approximately 122 design changes were made in the name of safety.
“Design changes were implemented before and after we started the steel erection process,” said Marc Cox, Vice President, and Project Manager for ASPE. “Most of the changes were discussed during initial meetings to figure out if they would work and how they would be implemented.”
The changes ranged from lift support for ironworkers making moment welding connection on the
building steel frame, to rodbusters reducing the space between bars so that boots could span the
opening, which prevented numerous potential trip and fall hazards.
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Read the full ENR NewEngland article here.
Award-winning projects include sports arena, performance centers, and a museum
Seven steel erection companies have been named as recipients in the annual Project of the Year awards by the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA). One winner was selected in each of four categories based on the dollar amount of the erection contract. In addition, three companies received Honorable Mention. Categories are Class I up to $500,000; Class II $500,000 to $1 million; Class III $1-2.5 million; and Class IV over $2.5 million.
Three of the projects were part of broader redevelopment plans in the local communities where they were built, and five of them house centers for cultural expression—including performing arts, sports, and a museum.
Chosen by an independent panel of judges, the companies received notice of their awards in April 2021 for projects that were topped out in either 2019 or 2020.
“Erectors often work in close collaboration with other teams and trades, and sometimes the customer. Challenges frequently deal with logistics, crane selection and rigging methods, and execution of complicated connection plans,” said Alan Sears, SEAA Awards Committee Chairman. “We congratulate these companies for excellent delivery of these unique structural steel construction projects.”
Six member companies from the Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) are providing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to work with NCCER to revise curriculum for Ironworker, Reinforcing Ironworker, and Welding. In addition, the organizations are exploring the interest level for possible future development of a Steel Fabrication curriculum.
“SEAA’s relationship with NCCER goes back many years and continues to evolve as training needs change,” said Geoff Kress, President of SEAA. “We value the opportunity to contribute to curriculum development to meet the specific needs of our members,” he said.
Among the SMEs representing SEAA working on these projects are:
Jack Nix, Vice President of Operations, Shelby Erectors Inc., is acting as an SME for the Reinforcing Ironworker curriculum. “Rodbusters require somewhat different skills than structural ironworkers. I am glad NCCER has decided to update this training to acknowledge those differences. The Reinforcing Ironworker craft training program provides the knowledge needed to succeed. The work itself is physically demanding and labor intensive, but a well-trained crew is safer and more efficient when properly trained,” said Nix.
In addition, several SEAA members include steel fabricators who have been seeking training for fabrication personnel for skills such as blueprint reading, math and measuring, in addition to cutting and welding techniques. NCCER is actively exploring the interest level for development of this type of curriculum. Fabrication companies can provide input by completing this survey.
“Participation in the SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Craft Training Program gives SEAA members access to dozens of other construction craft training, assessments, and certifications,” said Tim Eldridge, President of Education Services Unlimited and SEAA’s Craft Training and Assessment Administrator. “Popular with SEAA members is Crane Operator, Rigger, and Signalperson training.” There are currently more than 30 SEAA members across the country that participate in the SEAA/NCCER network of training units and assessment sites. For more information, visit SEAA.net/craft-training.
Steel erectors are getting real in Orlando this year for SEAA’s 48th Convention and Trade Show on October 13-14, 2021. The convention and trade show will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton at the entrance to Universal Studios. This year’s event will include dedicated trade show time, three education sessions for managers and owners, and a panel discussion with the 2021 Project of the Year winners.
The Convention & Trade Show is preceded by the Dave Schulz Memorial Golf Tournament at
the MetroWest Golf Club in Orlando on October 12, 2021. SEAA renamed the annual Education
Fundraiser Golf Tournament in memory of Dave Schulz, SEAA past president, who was instrumental in organizing the event for many years.
The Captain’s Choice style tournament is open to members and non- members. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams, longest drive, closest to the pin, and more. Separate registration is required. Fees include green fee, cart, range balls, lunch, and beverages. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
74% of SEAA members would recommend the association to others
May 11, 2021 (Winston-Salem, N.C.) In January, the Steel Erectors Association of America surveyed its members regarding the business challenges they face. More than 40% of those responding said that hiring issues are currently their biggest challenge and 37% of them believe hiring will continue to be a problem over the next three years.
Several SEAA members include steel fabricators who have been seeking training for fabrication personnel for skills such as blueprint reading, math and measuring, in addition to cutting and welding techniques. NCCER is actively exploring the interest level for development of this type of curriculum. Fabrication companies can provide input by completing this survey.
This is the full link: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/9510c8342f034036acfc23521358da9f