Introduction to the New Subpart R

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U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)

Summary Statement

An introduction to the new Subpart R regulation covering employers involved in steel erection, including definitions, fall protection training, and procedures that must be followed.
Feb 2003

Presented at the Construction Safety Council's 13th Annual Construction Safety & Health Conference & Exposition, Rosemont, Illinois, February 2003.

Table of Contents

  • Who is Covered

    • §1926.750 Scope

  • Definitions

    • §1926.751

  • Site Preparation

    • §1926.752 Site Layout

  • Cranes

    • §1926.753 Hoisting and Rigging

  • Structural Stability

    • §1926.754 Structural Steel Assembly
    • §1926.755 Column Anchorage
    • §1926.756 Beams and Columns
    • §1926.757 Open Web Steel Joists

  • Metal Buildings

    • §1926.758 Systems-engineered Metal Buildings

  • (Non-Hoist) Overhead Hazards

    • §1926.759 Falling Object Protection

  • Fall Protection

    • §1926.760 Fall Protection (for connectors, deckers, and all others)

  • Training

    • §1926.761 Training (general and specialized)
§1926.750 Scope
  • The standard covers all employers engaged in steel erection activities.
  • There are two lists of activities:

    • Primary: All activities in .750 (b)(1) are covered (connecting, bracing, guying . . .)
    • Ancillary: All listed in .750 (b)(2) are covered "when they occur during and are a part of steel erection activities"
        (sealing, caulking, elevator beams . . .)

    Does not include:

    • electrical transmission towers,
    • communication and broadcast towers,
    • tanks.
Site Preparation

1926.752 (c)
  • Adequate layout area
  • Adequate access roads
Layout area and access roads

Photo of Layout area and access roads

Cranes and Falling Object Protection

§1926.753 Hoisting and Rigging
  • Cranes: 1926.550 applies (except personnel platform provision) PLUS new, additional requirements
  • Employee exposure to overhead loads to be reduced through preplanning (.752) and work practice requirements.
  • Allows for expanded use of personnel platforms (.753 (c)(4)).
  • Prescribes proper procedure for multiple lifts "Christmas-treeing" (.753(e) "multiple lift rigging procedure")
Multiple Lift

Photo of Multiple Lift

§1926.759 Falling Object Protection (does not apply to materials being hoisted)
  • Secure loose items aloft
  • Controlling contractor to bar operations below steel erection unless falling object protection provided (from objects other than hoisted materials)
Structural Stability

§1926.755 Column Anchorage

Photo of Column Anchorage

Column Anchorage
  • Requires 4 anchor bolts per column

    • contains design strength requirements and other column stability requirements

  • Assure the adequacy of anchor bolts modified in the field

    • written notice must be given to erector that changes were made
Modification/Repair of Anchor Bolt

§1926.752(a) and (b) Concrete Strength
  • Concrete/mortar for footings, piers & walls
  • Written confirmation of ASTM test -- to erector
§1926.756 Beams and Columns

Beams and Columns
  • Two bolts per connection prior to releasing hoisting line
  • Safe procedures/devices for making double connections at columns
Minimum of two bolts per connection before releasing hoisting line

Double connection with seat

Photo of Double connection with seat

§1926.757 Open Web Steel Joists

Photo of Open Web Steel Joists

Steel joist concepts: terms
  • Erection Bridging:
Photo of Erection Bridging

Steel joist concepts: terms
  • Erection bridging "anchored" to a "terminus point":
Photo of Erection bridging

Steel joist concepts:
  • What you have to do before releasing hoisting cable:

    • Joist end connection requirements
    • Erection bridging

  • Max # of workers allowed on joist
  • Specs for:

    • Initial connections (specs and devices; holes requirement)
    • Final connections

  • Requirements vary with length of span
  • Some exceptions for "constructibility"
  • Requirements for landing and placing loads on joists
  • Some requirements may be modified through a site-specific erection plan (tandem setting of some 60'+ joists and requirements for landing decking bundles)
§1926.754 Structural Steel Assembly
  • Provides specific work practices for:

    • maintaining structural stability (max# unsecured floors)
    • landing deck bundles - where and weight
Metal Decking

Photo of Metal Decking

Decking Bundle

Photo of Decking Bundle

§1926.758 Systems-Engineered Metal Buildings

Requirements for the erection of these specialized structures which account for a large amount of steel erection.

Fall Prevention and Protection

§1926.760 Fall Protection
  • All must be protected at heights greater than 2 stories or 30 feet, including connectors and deckers
  • Between 15 and 30 feet: Fall protection required for all with exceptions for:

    • Deckers in controlled decking zone (CDZ) and
    • Connectors

      • Connectors must be provided and wear equipment necessary to be able to be
        tied-off, or be provided with other means of fall protection
Fall Protection: CDZ

§1926.760 Fall Protection (cont.)
  • Controlled decking zone:

    • For leading edge decking work

      • limited access
      • designated boundaries (usually by control lines)
      • Work practices for attaching deck:

        • install safety attachments from leading edge back
        • no final attachments allowed in CDZ
        • up to 3000 SF of unsecured decking

      • specific training requirements
Fall Protection -- Perimeter Cables (req. in beams and columns)
  • Requirements to facilitate quick installation of perimeter safety cables:

    • Column attachments or holes in columns for perimeter safety cables
    • Column splice height and strength specified
  • Perimeter cables required on multistory buildings

    • Must be installed "as soon as the metal decking has been installed"

  • Custody of Fall Protection Equipment:

    • Controlling contractor must choose to either:

      • accept responsibility for maintaining fall protection equipment left by erector,
      • OR ensure that it is removed (.760(e))
1926.754(e) holes and openings
minimizing fall hazards in interior openings (decking-over)

Tripping and Slipping
  • Walking/working surfaces requirements:

    • tripping hazards: shear connectors (and similar projections) generally prohibited until decking is installed
    • slip resistance criteria for painted structural steel members (effective 5 years after the rest of the standard)
Shear Connectors

Photo of Shear Connectors

§1926.761 Training
  • Qualified person to train workers in use & operation of fall protection equipment
  • Qualified person to train workers engaged in specific activities:

    • "Christmas-treeing"
    • connecting
    • CDZ procedures
  • No general requirement for an erection plan
  • Some requirements may be modified through a site-specific plan if equivalent protection is provided.

    • Safety latches on hooks activated (.753(c)(5))
    • Setting joists 60'+ at/near columns in tandem (.757(a)(4))
    • Landing decking on steel joists (.757(e)(4))
§1926.750(c) Specific Controlling Contractor Duties
  • Written notification to the steel erector:

    • Concrete in piers/walls is cured re ASTM spec
    • Anchor bolt modifications/repairs approved by project engineer (.752(a); .755(b))

  • Adequate on-site access roads (.752(c))
  • Preclude work below steel erection unless there is overhead protection (.759(b))
  • Choose whether to accept responsibility for maintaining fall protection equipment left by erector (otherwise it must be removed) (.760(e))
Effective Date and Phase-In
  • New Effective date: January 18, 2002
  • Phase-in Exceptions for

    • Component provisions (these affect the design of components. Example: columns must have 4 anchor bolts)
    • Component provisions will NOT apply where:

      • (Buildings)

        • Building Permit obtained prior to January 18, 2001
        • Steel erection has begun on or before September 16, 2001

      • (Bridges)

        • Contract date before January 18, 2001; or
        • Steel erection began before September 16, 2001.

  • Painted surfaces slip resistance provision - July 18, 2006
OSHA's Web Site
  • The complete standard can be obtained from our web site at
Prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor, Directorate of Construction and Compliance Assistance