movement. Safety precautions for the storage and
sufficient ventilation cannot be obtained
handling of structural steel plate are as follows:
without blocking the means of access,
personnel in the confined space shall be
--Store metal plates and shapes in properly
protected by airline hose mask.
designed and constructed racks. Plate metal should
never be stored, standing on end, outside of storage
Leave gas cylinders and heavy welding or
cutting equipment outside the restricted access
--Storage racks will be orientated forward to aft,
never port to starboard. Due to ships greater port to
starboard movement at sea, plate stored in a port to
Station a watch outside the space to observe all
starboard orientation could slide out of the rack and
workers at all times and to render assistance in
cause serious damage to material, equipment, or
--Ensure all storage racks have properly
If entering a restricted access space through a
constructed doors or retaining devices to properly
manhole or other small opening, means shall
secure metal in the storage rack.
be provided to remove personnel quickly in
case of an emergency.
--Metal stored outside of racks should be stored flat
on the deck. The metal should be secured with retaining
If the access fitting to a restricted access space
devices to prevent the port to starboard or forward to aft
is remotely controlled, ensure measures are
movement of the material while at sea. The retaining
device should be of proper strength and allow for the
taken to secure and tagout (with a DANGER
removal of an individual piece of metal without
tag) remote control equipment to avoid
accidental closing of the doors.
affecting the rest.
--When handling any kind of metal, wear gloves
If work in a restricted access space is suspended
to protect your hands and prevent slipping.
for any substantial period of time, remove all
--Use proper lifting procedures to prevent back
welding and torch leads, air hoses, and
electrical cords from the space.
--To prevent injury from falling metal, never
position any part of your body under a piece of metal
When using gas-welding equipment, always
close the torch valves and the gas supply to the
torch, when not actually in use, to eliminate the
--If the material being moved is too heavy, get help
possibility of the gas escaping through leaks or
before attempting to move the piece by yourself.
improperly closed valves. Torches shall
The attitude of metal workers towards safety is an
remain in restricted spaces only for the period
important ingredient in a successful shop safety
necessary to perform the required hot work.
program. Aside from personnel injury, shop efficiency
is lowered by damaged equipment and productivity is
STRUCTURAL STEEL STORAGE
decreased. Be aware of all shop safety requirements.
To be effective, the shop safety program must require
The safe handling and stowage of structural steel
100 percent participation of all personnel.
shapes and plate has become a major safety concern in
the past few years. There have been numerous mishaps
on board ships and shore facilities involving the
incorrect handling of steel shapes and plates. These
incidents have caused loss of property, limb, and even
As an HT working in the shipfitter shop or any other
shop manned with HTs, you will be required to use and
life. One incident, on board a tender, caused the death
interpret blueprints on a daily basis. You will also be
of three people because of improperly stored steel plate.
required to make simple drawings and diagrams for
Always remember plate steel is extremely heavy. A 4
ft by 8 ft sheet of steel plate l/8 inch thick will weigh
planning or fabricating purposes. Having a good
over 160 pounds. Multiply this by several sheets and
working knowledge of blueprints and drawings will
not even the strongest man would be able to control its
greatly improve your productivity and efficiency.