New steel erection rule

A very quick overview of the new steel erection rule is all that one Toolbox Talk can handle. The difference between the old and new rule is like night and day, and the protection offered by the new rule, compared to the old one, is also like night and day. The following information is an overview of the contents of the new rule.

Scope and ApplicationWho the rule applies to and who it doesn’t apply to is specified in this section. The rule does not cover electrical transmission towers, communication and broadcast towers, or tanks.


DefinitionsThe new rule offers an extensive list of definitions-an education in itself.


Site layout, site-specific erection plan and construction sequence -Pre-erection communication and planning results in a safe operation. This section requires communication between the controlling contractor and the steel erector.


Hoisting and riggingAn essential element of steel erection is the rigging and hoisting of structural steel members and materials. This section includes requirements for hoisting and rigging operations during steel erection activities.


Structural steel assemblyStructural stability must be maintained at all times during erection. This section is intended to help prevent collapse due to lack of stability, a major cause of fatalities.


Anchor bolts-Column stability, and the proper use of anchor bolts is addressed in this section. Inadequate anchor bolt installation could be a factor in causing structure collapse.


Beams and columns-Inappropriate/inadequate connections of beams and columns is inherently hazardous and can lead to collapse. Recommendations include a combination of performance and specification requirements that address hazards.


Falling object protection-A real and everyday hazard is loose items that have been placed aloft and that can fall and strike employees working below.

  1. Securing materials, equipment, and tools that are not in use
  2. Requiring head protection for employees belo
  3. Fall protection – Fifteen feet is the distance that triggers the fall protection requirement.


4. Connectors working at heights between 15 and 30 feet.

5. Workers engaged in decking in a controlled decking zone between 15 and 30 feet.

Suspended Loads


Lightning doesn’t have to strike often to do a job on you. Just once usually is enough. And it’s the same with overhead loads. If one falls on you, it generally makes a permanent impression. That’s why we always should stay out from under cranes, booms, and buckets. This means concrete buckets as well as backhoe buckets. Your first accident may be your last.



Use your head. Not to stop a failing object, but to make sure an object doesn’t fall on you. Don’t stand, walk, or work under crane booms, buckets, or suspended loads. And while using your head, keep it covered with a hard hat.



If you have anything to do with planning lifting operations, be sure the boom or bucket will not be swinging over workers. You may have to rope off or barricade the swing area, or schedule the lifting operations when the workers aren’t in the vicinity.



Did you ever get hit in the head with a piece of semi-hardened concrete that dropped from a crane bucket? It hurt, didn’t it; even though you were wearing your hard hat. How do I know you were wearing your hard hat? If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be here. Laborers have to be especially careful to keep clear of the crane when the operator is loading and hoisting the bucket.




So many times we think only in terms of crane booms, but the same thoughts apply to backhoe operations. A pipe crew gets so used to setting pipe with a backhoe that they get in under the load in a ditch. What is going to happen if a cable breaks or a hydraulic line blows? Look at the mechanics of the boom. If a cable breaks, will the load shift horizontally as well as drop? Think!



Remember: To avoid danger from crane booms, keep out from under them at all times. And wear your hard hat, just in case.

Working Around Cranes



Experience teaches us a lot about working around cranes. But often the lessons are costly. For example: A laborer carrying a bag of cement walked between a crawler crane and a building column. The crane swung round and fatally crushed him between the counterweight and the column. On another job, a workman was leaning on the crane frame, talking with one of his buddies. The load came in contact with a live power line and he was electrocuted. Today, we’ll discuss things we should and should not do when working around this equipment.



It’s a smart move on your part to stay out from under suspended hooks and loads. There’s always a chance that during a lift, the load could shift and fall. It may be a slim chance because of the good rigging techniques we use. But once is all it takes to cause a serious injury or a fatality. Also stay clear of swinging loads. That big “I” beam can squash you like a bug if you get in the way.



Remember, too, that the crane operator may not see you. He’s concentrating on moving his crane into position or swinging his load. Think of the swing area of the crane as “no- man’s land.” And stay out. The crane will have no sympathy if you get in the way. And it won’t come out second best. I’ll guarantee that.



Have you ever heard of a P.L.P.? It stands for Public Leaning Post. And a lot of people think that’s what the crane is. They’re asking for a shocking experience if the load or boom touches a live wire. So don’t lean on the crane. Stay clear. It’s too bad the workman we talked about earlier didn’t take this advice. He’d still be around today. Of course, with all the overhead work going on, we always should wear our hard hats. Concrete slopped out of a lifted bucket can crack an unprotected skull. I don’t understand why some persons never use the stairs or personnel hoists. They insist on “riding the hook.” And they’re asking for trouble when they do. It’s one of the most dangerous means of transportation around.



The crane is a fantastic piece of equipment. It saves us an enormous amount of work. But like anything else that’s big and powerful, it can be dangerous. That’s why I’ve taken the time to stress that you be extra careful when working around cranes.