OSHA Posts Draft Compliance Directive for Steel Erection Standard

Nov. 27, 2001
Want to know what's in the new draft compliance directive for the\r\nsteel erection standard? It's just a click away.

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has posted a new draft compliance directive for steel erection on its Web site. This is the first time OSHA has published a directive on its public Web site in draft form.

The steel erection standard goes into effect Jan. 18 and addresses the hazards that have been identified as the major causes of injuries and fatalities in the steel erection industry.

"This is a new way in which we can be more accessible and responsive in order to better inform the public," OSHA Administrator John Henshaw said. "We welcome suggestions and look forward to working together with the stakeholders on protecting America''s steel workers."

The draft compliance directive includes an overview of the standard, inspection tips for OSHA compliance officers, compliance policy information and definitions from the text of the standard. Concepts addressed by the standard include:

  • Site layout and construction sequence,
  • Site-specific erection plan,
  • Hoisting and rigging,
  • Structural steel assembly,
  • Column anchorage,
  • Beams and columns,
  • Open web steel joists,
  • Systems-engineered metal buildings,
  • Falling object protection,
  • Fall protection, and
  • Training.

The draft compliance directive includes several changes that OSHA terms "significantly different from the previous steel erection standard." These include:

Site layout and construction sequence. Requires notification of proper curing of concrete in footings, piers, etc., for steel columns; and requires controlling contractor to provide erector with a safe site layout including preplanning routes for hoisting loads.

Site-specific erection plan. Requires preplanning 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 preplanning and work practice requirements, and prescribes proper procedure for multiple lifts (Christmas-treeing).

Structural steel assembly. Provides safer walking/working surfaces by eliminating tripping hazards and minimizing slips through new slip resistance requirements, and provides specific work practices regarding safety landing deck bundles and protecting against fall hazards from interior openings.

Column anchorage. Requires four anchor bolts per column along with other column stability requirements, and requires procedures to ensure adequacy of anchor bolts that have been modified in the field.

Beams and columns. Eliminates collapse hazards associated with making double connections at columns.

Open web steel joists. Adds erection bridging and attachment requirements to minimize risk of collapse of lightweight steel joists; requirements for bridging terminus anchors, with illustrations and drawings in a nonmandatory appendix; and requirements addressing how to place loads on steel joists to minimize risk of collapse.

Systems-engineered metal buildings. Adds requirements to minimize collapse in the erection of these specialized structures.

Falling object protection. Adds performance provisions that address hazards of falling objects in steel erection.

Fall protection. Deckers in a controlled decking zone (CDZ) and connectors must be protected at heights greater than two stories or 30 feet. Connectors between 15 feet and two stories or 30 feet must wear fall arrest or restraint equipment and be able to be tied off or be provided another means of fall protection. Deckers working between 15 feet and two stories or 30 feet may be protected by a CDZ. Fall protection is required for all others engaged in steel erection at heights greater than 15 feet.

Training. Requires qualified person to train exposed workers in fall protection and requires qualified person to train exposed workers engaged in special, high-risk activities.

The draft directive can be accessed on the OSHA Web site at www.osha-slc.gov/doc/steelerection/steelerection-memo.html .

While the agency welcomes suggestions, OSHA warns that this is not part of the rulemaking process. OSHA will not issue an analysis on suggestions received.

Informal suggestions on the draft directive can be sent electronically to OSHA at [email protected]. The cutoff date for receiving suggestions is Dec. 10.

Because the directive is in draft form, it is not an official OSHA policy document.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

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Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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