The Importance of Steel Erection in Construction Projects

Structural steel is the vital “skeleton” of many bridges, buildings, and other edifices. It’s an essential source of a structure’s shape, stability, and durability. However, steel erection involves moving, aligning, bolting up, and securing extremely heavy beams and other components, often requiring cranes. Consequently, it’s hazardous work that should only be performed by skilled and experienced workers using specialized equipment. 

That’s why project managers, facility managers, and other Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia stakeholders tasked with coordinating steel building erection projects turn to Coker. There’s far too much riding on the outcome to entrust them to companies without our extensive background and track record of success. 

What Is Steel Erection?

Steel erection is the process of constructing, repairing, or modifying steel structures like buildings and bridges. It’s challenging work that must be completed precisely as designed, so the companies and people doing the steel erection work must have the proper certifications and experience. 

Every steel erection project is unique, but most follow these steps:

  1. Check and recheck the sizes and locations of bolts on the foundation and base plates.
  2. Install each rafter’s central section.
  3. Install vertical column bracings and roof bracings.
  4. Secure sheeting rails and roof purlins to the framework.
  5. Erect gantry crane girders (if applicable). 
  6. Position overhead cranes on the girders.
  7. Install the side panels and roof. 
  8. Fill the underside of each base plate with non-shrink grout. 

The steel building erection process is used in many construction settings, including bridges, office buildings, retail/commercial spaces, and industrial structures.

The Hazards of Steel Erection

Steel erection projects have many inherent hazards and risks that vary based on many factors, including the type and size of the structure, its location, the materials used, etc. The good news is a company like ours—that goes beyond safety practices to develop and maintain a safety culture—knows what they are and takes appropriate steps to mitigate them. 

Some of the most common causes of accidents and injuries in steel erection projects include:

  • Premature crane disconnections
  • Landing or placing a load on something that is not entirely secure
  • Failure to use available fall protection systems even though the worker was wearing a safety harness
  • Not being tied off at workstations
  • Being hit by objects while walking or working near a load
  • Touching live electrical wires
  • Being struck by flying metal splinters

These issues and many others can have serious consequences. However, they can be prevented by using proven steel erection best practices. Specifically, we maximize the safety of every steel erection project we complete by doing the following:

  • Hiring and training qualified, safety-conscious team members
  • Creating a culture where safety is the top priority
  • Maintaining written guidelines for accident prevention and ensuring all team members understand and follow them. 
  • Using full fall protection for work completed at heights at or above 6.’
  • Requiring team members to keep job sites clean and orderly
  • Regularly inspecting all tools and equipment to ensure they’re in excellent condition

We also confirm a site-specific erection plan has been created and visit the job site before work begins to ensure adequate access, an appropriate lay-down area, etc. All these actions are necessary for completing steel erection work efficiently and without accidents. 

Your Northeast Florida Steel Erection Solution

No one wants to envision accidents and the injuries and property damage they can cause. But it’s crucial to remember those very-real risks as you think about who to hire for your project. 

If you’re searching for steel erection companies, the Coker team has the expertise to provide strategic advice and complete jobs on time and without incident—which can save you money and enhance your reputation. We pride ourselves on being the most qualified provider for any project, and we’re happy to talk with you about how we do that. 

This includes 50+ years of combined experience on our team. That background reduces the risk of accidents and enables us to create personalized plans to meet your budget. In addition, our experience helps us to take problems in stride and complete work on schedule. 

And finally, we know how important clear communication is in steel erection projects. That’s why we keep clients up-to-date throughout our engagements. 

Get Excellent Results on Your Next Structural Steel Project

Securing the assistance you need for structural steel projects is a critical step in constructing, repairing, or modifying buildings, bridges, etc. Make your selection confidently by discussing your project’s details and challenges with us and then getting a quote. 

Contact us today!