5 Tips for Safe Steel Construction Operations

"Steel construction" is a broad term that most often refers to steel buildings or steel bridges, but can refer to anything that is being built primarily with steel. Workers in the steel and iron industry conduct aerial operations as much as any other industry, and this will take a look at safety tips for workers creating steel structures with the help of All Access heavy machinery.

Safety and Steel Erection

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, steel building is one of the 10 most hazardous occupations in the United States. When working at height, hazards can be even more threatening, and safety with metal building can not be overlooked.

The JLG aerial lift machines (boom lifts, forklifts, scissor lifts, etc.) we sell, rent, and service at All Access are designed to make sure injuries in this hazardous field are minimized. In addition to standard safety features like self-leveling platforms, JLG also offers several safety add-ons, specific to unique working conditions such as cold weather operations or urban building jobs.

Here are 5 tips for safe steel construction operations the next time you use an All Access piece of equipment at your jobsite!

Tips for Safe Steel Building Practices

Pick the Right Aerial Equipment

When working aloft, a steel worker is only as good as his or her tools, and this includes the machinery used to elevate those workers. Some steel erection jobs can be completed with scissor lifts, but generally these are used for smaller operations. For larger operations that require workers to move a lot while aloft, boom lifts are usually the best choice.

Once you determine what size of heavy equipment you'll be using to perform work at height, choosing some safety add-ons to fit your job is the second part of "Picking the right aerial equipment." The JLG SkyGuard SkyLine automatically stops operations when a sensor confirms that a worker is being forced into the control panel. The JLG Mid-Rail Deck is another add on that helps workers perform their duties 15-18 inches above the aerial platform while being secured.

Worker Comfort - PPE

You can never mention personal protective gear enough when talking about construction safety. If you're working close to a road, be sure to have a reflective vest, as decreases in driver attention continue in the cell-phone era. Cut resistant gloves are a must with metal work, as are boots, goggles, and helmets when working aloft.

Especially when the steel work is related to repairs, jobs often have to get done as quickly as possible, meaning a lot of man-hours and operations in inclement weather. Making sure your workers are comfortable is an overlooked means of helping out with safety. If someone is worried about how cold they are, they might forget some safety measures. JLG lifts have several add-ons to help with cold-weather work or night work.

Minimize Fall Risks

There are several ways to minimize the risk of a fall when working with steel, and the first one is to complete as much work as possible on the ground. Only go aloft when absolutely necessary. JLG equipment is rated for some very heavy lifting, and if your team can erect steel sections of a project on the ground and then take them aloft with a boom lift, then it should always be done that way.

Our equipment also comes with sensors and guardrails to minimize dangers, and of course: be extra careful anytime there is moisture!

Power Up!

Ensuring your team is using the right tools for their metal buildings, steel bridges, and other jobs that involve being aloft, adds another level of safety. In addition to the tools of the trade, the JLG lifts offered by All Access also have add-ons such as the JLG SkyPower system that is a 7,500W generator on the aerial platform, rather than having to reposition one every time you need to move your boom lift. JLG also offers welding machines specifically made for safe operations in their aerial platforms.

Vehicle Maintenance

All Access vehicles are frequently serviced and maintained by certified professionals with decades of combined experience working with JLG equipment such as scissor lifts and boom lifts. However, if you have your own equipment or are renting from somewhere else, always go through the recommended maintenance checks for a given vehicle being used for steel buildings or steel bridge construction.

Team Effort

Ultimately, safety at a steel building site is a team effort. Whether it's long span bridges, prefab metal buildings, or smaller jobs, everyone on site needs to be prepared and aware. If you ever have any questions regarding safe operations of our rental equipment, please call us immediately and we will be happy to answer all of your questions. 888-939-8030.


What precautions must be set when building a bridge?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the first step in making sure any site is safe. When working at heights, safety nets, fire blankets, and professional surveying are all steps taken before ground is broken on any project.

How do you make a metal building secure?

Anchoring is the first step for securing a building that is being built. Alarms and security cameras are also regular additions to a jobsite, especially one where equipment will be left overnight.

What are 3 problems you might encounter when building a bridge?

Design error is always a possibility when constructing a new bridge. Two other major issues are environmental factors such as rain or even earthquakes, and simple construction mistakes. Preparation is the best way to avoid two of these, but foul weather generally requires a more reactive response rather than a preventative one.

About All Access Services

Serving construction projects throughout Southern California with heavy equipment rentals, we have 3 locations in San Diego, Orange County, and Riverside to serve our clients. Each location carries a fleet of scissor liftstelehandlersboom lifts, and forklifts available for rent at affordable rates. We strive to provide the best customer service in the industry and hope to earn your trust and business!