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Site Preparation

Connecting Steel Beams
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This module discusses initial site layout, site-specific erection plans and construction sequences detailed within OSHA’s 29 CFR 1926.752.

Proper communication between the controlling contractor and the steel erector prior to the beginning of the steel erection operation is essential to employee safety. Many accidents involving collapse can be averted if adequate pre-erection communication and planning occurs.

Site preparation, including site layout, pre-planning of overhead hoisting operations, and (in some cases) site-specific erection plans help to ensure safety during the initial stages of steel erection.

Approval and Commencement

The controlling contractor must provide written notification to the steel erector ensuring that:

  • Concrete in footings, piers, and walls has been cured to a level that will provide adequate strength, as required by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), to support any forces imposed during steel erection.
  • Anchor bolt repairs, replacements and modifications were done with the approval of the project Structural Engineer of Record (SER).

A steel erection contractor should not erect steel unless he or she has received written notification that the concrete in the footings, piers and walls, or the mortar in the masonry piers and walls has attained, either:

  • 75% of the intended minimum compressive design strength, or
  • sufficient strength to support the loads imposed during steel erection.

This determination should be based on an appropriate ASTM standard test method of field-cured samples.

The controlling contractor should keep a copy of the written notification(s) required by this section on the site for review until completion of the project.

Site Layout

site layout

In order for the steel erector to perform necessary operations in a safe manner, the controlling contractor must provide and maintain:

  • Adequate access roads into and throughout the site that will be used for safely delivering and moving:
    • derricks
    • cranes
    • trucks
    • other necessary equipment
    • the material to be erected
  • Means and methods for pedestrian and vehicular control.
  • A firm, properly graded, drained area, readily accessible to the work with adequate space for the safe storage of materials and the safe operation of the erector’s equipment.


All hoisting operations in steel erection must be pre-planned to ensure:

  • Employees are not working directly below suspended loads, except for:
    • employees engaged in the initial connection of the steel
    • employees necessary for the hooking and unhooking of the load
  • Where employees must work under the load, the materials being hoisted are:
    • rigged to prevent unintentional displacement
    • prevented from slipping by the use of hooks with self-closing safety latches or their equivalent
    • rigged by a qualified rigger

Site-Specific Erection Plan

Preplanning Works – Buildmaster Video
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Employers may elect, because of conditions specific to the worksite, to develop alternate means of providing the employee protection. If a site-specific erection plan is used, it must:

  • Be developed by a qualified person;
  • Identify the site;
  • Be available at the work site; and
  • Be signed by the qualified person responsible for its development and any modifications.

The Site-Specific Erection Plan Process

Pre-construction conference(s) and site inspection(s) are held between the erector and the controlling contractor, and others such as the project engineer and fabricator before the start of steel erection. The purpose of these conference(s) is to develop and review the site-specific erection plan.

The Site-Specific Erection Plan Components

plan components

In this process, the following elements are considered:

  • The sequence of erection activity, developed in coordination with the controlling contractor, including the following:
    • material deliveries
    • material staging and storage
    • coordination with other trades and construction activities
  • A description of the crane and derrick selection and placement procedures, including the following:
    • site preparation
    • path for overhead loads, and
    • critical lifts, including rigging supplies and equipment
  • A description of steel erection activities and procedures, including the following:
    • stability considerations requiring temporary bracing and guying
    • erection bridging terminus point
    • notifications regarding repair, replacement and modifications of anchor rods (anchor bolts)
    • columns and beams (including joists and purlins)
    • connections
    • decking, and
    • ornamental and miscellaneous iron
  • A description of the procedures used to comply with 1926.754(a).
  • A description of the falling object protection procedures that will be used to comply with 1926.759.
  • A description of the fall protection procedures that will be used to comply with 1926.760.
  • A description of the special procedures required for hazardous non-routine tasks.
  • A certification for each employee who has received training for performing steel erection operations as required by 1926.761.
  • A list of the qualified and competent persons.
  • A description of the procedures that will be used in the event of rescue or emergency response.

See 1926 Subpart R, Appendix A for more guidelines for establishing the components of a site-specific Erection Plan.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Proper communication between the controlling contractor and the _____ prior to the beginning of the steel erection operation is essential to employee safety.

2. Which of the following must be cured to a level that will provide adequate strength, as required by the ASTM.

3. Employees may work directly below suspended loads if _____.

4. If a site-specific erection plan is used, it must _____.

5. The site-specific erection plan should include all of the following components, EXCEPT:

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.