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How Site Managers Maintain Safety When Working With Steel Beams

May 16, 2018

Steel beams, HSS sections, angles and a few other things besides, are the backbone of a steel erection. Steel structures have come to be relied on for a great many purposes – both long and short term. Steel beams have proven an incredibly versatile and robust building material, capable of handling vast loads and being quick to install.


The pace at which steel beams are used to construct steel structures is stupendous - and so should safety protocol be.


With the tremendous pace with which streel structures are erected nowadays, safety must remain a top priority at all times.

We look at some essential safety tips when constructing structures out of steel beams:

  • Stability – Keeping the structural stable at all times is key to not only a safer build, but also a quicker one. Loads must not be placed on any steel beam unless it is secured adequately. Temporary structures can be used to brace and support the structure until such time it can become free standing and load bearing.
  • Slips and trips – When working on steel beams, it is imperative that no tools be left on the surface. These can be a tripping hazard. Also, coated steel members may be slipperier than normal steel, and walking on these should be avoided for the likelihood of slipping.
  • Bolts – When bolting steel beams, particularly at elevation, it is essential to warn others below of ongoing work. Flags or signs can be used to warn people. Unsecured tools and bolts should not be left at elevation either.
  • Connections – Loads should not be released until securely fastened at all connections. Following the guidelines provided for the erection will give a good idea as to the number of bolts at each connection and more. To ensure the stability of a connection, it is a good idea to consult a competent person regarding its affixation.
  • Hoisting – Before hoisting take stock of the ground on which the crane is parked and beware of soil compaction. Especially if operating near high power lines, the line operator must be contacted to determine the voltage of the line. Unless such is done, a safe distance must be maintained between steel beams being hoisted and the power line.

This post is but a minor scratch on the surface of the health and safety precautions that must be taken when working with steel beams. Worker safety, the safety of all others on site and passers-by must be maintained.


At Scaroboro Steel Works we understand that safety begins with steel beams prepared to your specifications. Our structural steel beams comply with local Ontario building codes and are tested for strength and stiffness.