Erection - Steel Structure: The Method Statement.

It is now customary for the steelwork specialist to provide an erection method statement for the site work. The purpose of this is to set out a safe system of work for the delivery, erection and completion of the intended structure, thereby allowing the design team the opportunity to appraise this plan and make any appropriate observations or changes.

The erection method statement will set out procedures for delivery and  assembly including the phasing of the erection, bolting, welding, and methods of erection and safety of the steelwork package. Guidance note GS28 Parts 1 & 2, produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), contains full details of the contents of a method statement. The main items described include:

(1) Arrangements for scheme management, including co-ordination and  responsibility allocation of supervisory personnel at all levels
(2) Delivery and off-loading of the steelwork and other materials, including lifting methods and weights of each load.
(3) Erection sequences, notification of the scheduled starting position or positions if phased construction is required.
(4) Methods of ensuring continual stability of individual members (including columns) and sub-assemblies, as well as of the partially erected structure.
(5) The detailed method of erecting the structure or erection scheme devised to ensure that activities such as lifting, un-slinging, initial connecting, alignment and final connecting can be carried out safely.
(6) Provisions to prevent falls from height, including safe means of access and  safe places of work, special platforms and walkways, and arrangements for the early completion of permanent walkways, mobile towers, aerial platforms, slung, suspended or other scaffolds, secured ladders, safety harnesses and
safety nets.
(7) Protection from falls of materials, tools and debris by the provision of  barriers such as screens, fans and nets.
(8) The provision of suitable plant (including cranes), tools and equipment of  sufficient strength and quantity.
(9) Contingency arrangements to guard against the unexpected, such as a breakdown of essential plant, or the delivery of components out  of  sequence.
(10) Arrangements for delivery, stacking, storing, on-site movement, fabrication or pre-assembly and the siting of offices and mess rooms.
(11) Details of site features, layout and access, with notes on how they may affect proposed arrangements and methods of working.
(12) A detailed risk assessment to ensure all safety precautions have been taken.
(13) Handover procedures, including a method of checking the alignment of the structure and methods of determining bolting and welding completion.

These items enable the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to be satisfied.
A complex job may require a series of complex method statements, each  covering a particular aspect of the work.

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