Does "Subpart R - Steel Erection" Apply to You?

Subpart R provides the standards for steel erection activities involved in the construction, alteration, and/or repair of single and multi-story buildings, bridges, and other structures where steel erection occurs. The scope states that this subpart applies to employers engaged in steel erection unless otherwise specified. It does not cover electrical transmission towers, communication and broadcast towers, or tanks.

Steel erection activities include hoisting, laying out, placing, connecting, welding, burning, guying, bracing, bolting, plumbing and rigging structural steel, steel joists and metal buildings; installing metal decking, curtain walls, window walls, siding systems, miscellaneous metals, ornamental iron and similar materials; and moving point-to-point while performing these activities.

The following activities are covered by this subpart when they occur during and are a part of steel erection activities: rigging, hoisting, laying out, placing, connecting, guying, bracing, dismantling, burning, welding, bolting, grinding, sealing, caulking, and all related activities for construction, alteration and/or repair of materials and assemblies such as structural steel; ferrous metals and alloys; non-ferrous metals and alloys; glass; plastics and synthetic composite materials; structural metal framing and related bracing and assemblies; anchoring devices; structural cabling; cable stays; permanent and temporary bents and towers; falsework for temporary supports of permanent steel members; stone and other non-precast concrete architectural materials mounted on steel frames; safety systems for steel erection; steel and metal joists; metal decking and raceway systems and accessories; metal roofing and accessories; metal siding; bridge flooring; cold formed steel framing; elevator beams; grillage; shelf racks; multi-purpose supports; crane rails and accessories; miscellaneous, architectural and ornamental metals and metal work; ladders; railings; handrails; fences and gates; gratings; trench covers; floor plates; castings; sheet metal fabrications; metal panels and panel wall systems; louvers; column covers; enclosures and pockets; stairs; perforated metals; ornamental iron work, expansion control including bridge expansion joint assemblies; slide bearings; hydraulic structures; fascias; soffit panels; penthouse enclosures; skylights; joint fillers; gaskets; sealants and seals; doors; windows; hardware; detention/security equipment and doors, windows and hardware; conveying systems; building specialties; building equipment; machinery and plant equipment, furnishings and special construction.

Are your employees engaged in steel erection activities as identified above? If yes, then subpart R applies to you. This subpart provides definitions to terms used in the standards such as:

Qualified person means one who, by possession of a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project.

Competent person means one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

Systems-engineered metal building means a metal, field-assembled building system consisting of framing, roof and wall coverings. Typically, many of these components are cold-formed shapes. These individual parts are fabricated in one or more manufacturing facilities and shipped to the job site for assembly into the final structure. The engineering design of the system is normally the responsibility of the systems-engineered metal building manufacturer.

Controlled decking zone means an area in which certain work (for example, initial installation and placement of metal decking) may take place without the use of guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, fall restraint systems, or safety net systems and where access to the zone is controlled.

The subpart provides the standard for site layout, site-specific erection plan and construction sequence which provides the requirements pertaining to approval to begin steel erection, commencement of steel erection, site layout, pre-planning of overhead hoisting operations and site-specific erection plan. Reference appendix A - guidelines for establishing the components of a site-specific erection plan: non-mandatory guidelines for complying with paragraph (e) - site-specific erection plan.

It also provides the requirements pertaining to hoisting and rigging including complying with subpart CC -  cranes and derricks in construction, visual inspections, qualified riggers (i.e., qualified person), working under loads, and multiple lifts.  The structural steel assembly standard provides requirements pertaining to structural stability, multi-story structures, walking/working surfaces (i.e., tripping hazards), plumbing up, and metal decking (i.e., holes and openings, decking gaps, installation),

The standard on column anchorage provides requirements pertaining to stability, repair and replacement; and the standard on beams and columns provides the requirements for releasing the load, diagonal bracing, double connections, column splices, and perimeter columns. The standard on open-web steel joists provides the requirements for field bolting, attachment of steel joists and steel joist girders, erection of steel joists, erection bridging, and landing and placing loads.

The standard on systems-engineered metal buildings provides the requirements pertaining to anchors, rigid frames, construction loads, girt and eave strut-to-frame connections, ends of steel joists or cold-formed joists, and purlins and girts. Note: The requirements of the standards, column anchorage and open-web steel joists, do not apply to systems-engineered metal buildings. .

The falling object protection standard provides requirements pertaining to securing of loose items aloft and protection from falling objects other than those being hoisted.  The fall protection standard provides requirements for fall protection systems (i.e., guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning device systems, fall restraint systems) at 15 feet or higher, connectors, controlled decking zones (CDZ), criteria for fall protection equipment, and custody of fall protection. The standard on training provides requirements for training to be conducted by a qualified person, having a training program, and having additional special training programs for employees that are engaged in procedures related to multiple lift rigging, connectors and/or controlled decking zones

In addition, you need to comply with the state specific standard on steel erection. The North Carolina state specific standard expanded and clarified the scope and added more requirements pertaining to tripping hazards to paragraph (c)(1)

Additional information can be found on the A-Z topics pages for steel erection, fall protectioncranes and derricks and personal protective equipment.