One of the many attractions that steel constructions offer is that their construction and use thereafter is so safe, quick, quiet and hassle-free that it makes them incredibly compliant with health and safety regulations, both in the construction and post-construction phases. Designers of commercial and industrial buildings are under obligation to ensure that their projects are safe to build, safe to use and safe to be dismantled at the end of their functional life. Steel buildings tick all of these boxes as well shall see.
The nature of steel building materials is that they are pre-engineered in such a way that the planning of operational stages is made simple and safe. The fabrication of each steel component is undertaken away from the site in factory conditions where regulations and health and safety are of paramount importance and cutting edge technology results in precise components, rendering the steel elements absolutely accurate, with a vastly reduced chance of errors that could lead to health and safety issues on-site. In addition to this, steel parts can be either pre-assembled or made into modules away from the site or at ground level conditions, eliminating a big chunk of time needed to be spent working at height, which is one of the principal health and safety concerns in the construction industry.
Those involved in steel construction are specialised in their work and experts at their trade. It is also a prerequisite for all in the trade to possess industry recognised qualifications. This helps to ensure that the components are swiftly and precisely installed on site using industry standardised techniques. The framed solution offered by steel constructions ensures self- stability available with immediate effect offering optimal material strength. This allows for the construction of stairs, thus enabling safe access for tradesmen on site.
It is the concern of designers specialised in steel components to work alongside construction teams to make sure that the proposed design is optimised for manufacturing and assembly. Steel’s appropriateness for 3D modelling helps to make complicated structures possible and safe. The standardisation of steel constructions means that those involved in the construction phase get used to repeated tasks leading to safety on site. As the components can be delivered on an ‘as needed’ basis, there is much less clutter on site and as a result fewer hazards.
Should expansion be the order of the day, then as steel components are bolted together with screws they can be unscrewed and modified or moved to allow for expansion at a later date. This not only saves money but also means safe practice on site with less hazards during the remodelling phase. If, on the other hand, the building has served its purpose and needs deconstructing in order for the land to be repurposed then, the same applies for demounting the steel components.
The popular conception has been that steel construction is risky, but arguably it is the safest option. Still, as with anything involving large, heavy materials there are risks in terms of health and safety.
The main risks are that:
• Big, weighty components require lifting and mounting
• Partially erect structures are prone to instability
• Subtle differences exist between each project