The installation of floor and roof decking continues to be one of the “Deadly Dozen" hazardous activities that has resulted in fatalities and disabling injuries. The focus of this safety bulletin is to emphasize the importance of securing metal decking sheets to the structure to prevent accidental displacement. Historically, the decking process has produced the highest percentage of fatalities and disabling injuries that warrants the attention of all members to “See Something – Say Something.”
Establish a secure work platform. Incident trends and investigative reports indicate the primary causation factors in some of the incidents were directly attributed to unsecured metal decking sheets during installation. More specifically, in many of these cases, the metal decking sheets that slipped were directly next to the bundles of decking. As a result of the unsecured sheets slipping, the Ironworkers fell to the next lower level.
After opening bundles of decking and removing the banding, it is important to secure a sheet on both sides of the bundle to establish a stable working surface. Removing sheets from the bundles is often difficult and requires firm footing and hand-holds to safely remove the sheets. Depending on where the bundle of decking is landed, only one sheet may be secured to the structure.
The Importance and Requirement for Hazard Training. Prior to performing the installation of metal decking, apprentices and journeymen must be trained on the recognition and avoidance of common hazards during the installation process to prevent serious incidents. The OSHA Subpart R - Steel Erection standard 1926.761(c)(3)(ii) requires training on “the establishment, access, proper installation techniques and work practices.”
The “Zero Fatality” campaign challenges all members to “intervene and prevent unsafe conditions and unsafe acts” in the workplace. Never use an unsecured metal decking sheet as a work platform, and remember, if you “See Something – Say Something.”