Tuesday, July 24, 2012


- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Cold stress and heat stress
- Lead exposure
- Tools of the trade
- Site preparation and steel erection
- Safe access and fall protection
- Mobile welding rigs

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Clothing: Many injuries can be prevented by choosing the right clothing. Don’t have cuffs on your pants or sleeves because they can get caught on something and cause you to fall. Cuffs can also catch sparks and cause a burn. Hearing protection: Hearing protection is a must for today’s ironworker. Hammering, reaming, and equipment all produce noise at levels that can harm your hearing. Wear appropriate hearing protection. It should filter out noise above 85 decibels but still allow you to communicate with your co-workers and hear any alarms or warnings. Reduce the risk of infection: Make sure that your hands are clean before using expanding foam hearing protection.

Eye protection: Wear proper eye protection when reaming drilling, grinding, burning, welding—or whenever hazards require it. The right eye protection can be different for different activities. For example, it’s common for ironworkers to perform activities such as gas cutting and stud welding. These activities would require the use of Class 2C goggles for radiation protection. It is also common for ironworkers to be grinding and cutting. These activities would require the use of a full face shield to reduce the risk of injury from flying objects and particles. At some jobsites, eye protection is mandatory. Always wear eye protection as required. For further information, refer to the chapter on PPE in this manual for a list of activities with recommended eye and face protection.

Skin protection: Ironworkers must protect their skin against burns from hot metal, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, welding radiation, and other hazards. Skin protection includes
• clothing that is flame-resistant and provides UV protection
• long sleeved shirts
• full-length pants
• leather-faced gloves
• sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Leather-faced gloves provide protection from hot steel and resistance to abrasion.

Head protection: A hard hat complying with the Construction Regulation (Ontario Regulation 213/91) is required on construction projects at all times. A CSA Type 2 Class E or equivalent hat with chinstrap is recommended because ironworkers

• work at elevations in windy conditions
• have increased risk of a lateral impact due to the specific nature of their work.

Please note that hard hats must be worn with the brim forward unless the hat has been tested and the manufacturer confirms that it can be worn with the brim pointing backwards. (The hard hat will have an embossed symbol indicating that it has been certified as safe to be worn backwards.)

Foot protection: Workers must wear CSA certified Grade 1 boots. Boots should also be resistant to electric shock (certified by a white label with the Greek letter omega Ω). Ironworkers should wear boots with slip resistant soles because of the time spent walking on smooth beams.

Hand protection: Gloves are an essential part of everyday PPE. Select your gloves based on site conditions such as temperature, the work being performed, the chance of getting cuts and abrasions, and the dexterity required.

For more information, see the chapter on PPE in this manual.

Click here to download a copy of the 30 page Structural Steel safety manual PDF


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