Safety Precautions When Handling Steel In The Philippines maigne|April 10, 2019

Safety Precautions When Handling Steel in the Philippines

What are the different safety precautions when handling steel?

  1. Protect yourself
  2. Inspect beforehand
  3. Lift properly

Steel in the Philippines has become an important material for many construction sites. It is durable, varied, and versatile. Despite its strengths, it can be a dangerous metal to handle and this quality put workers at risk for different safety hazards. As a handler of steel, these are the safety precautions to be aware of:

Protect yourself

Protect Yourself

The steel industry poses a lot of dangers to the workers involved. Employees, in charge of dealing with this material for construction purposes, are vulnerable to their safety being compromised by mishandled machinery, falling debris, and inhalation of harmful agents. Thus, to protect yourself as a steelworker, it is important that you wear these safety gears to work at all times.

  • Face mask

When you handle steel pipes in the Philippines, you are at risk of inhaling its dust particles. Once these specks accumulate in your lungs, you may get respiratory diseases such as Pneumoconiosis. To protect yourself from these sicknesses, you should wear a face mask at all times.

  • Heat resistant gloves

There may be times when you will need to handle hot steel. When this material goes in contact with heat sources like an open flame, and as a result, the steel picks up some of its thermal energy. Touching hot steel can lead to skin burns. Thus, it is necessary that you always wear heat resistant gloves every day at work.

Besides protecting you from getting burned, these gloves also function as protection against cuts.

  • Eye goggles and hard hats

Both of these safety gears protect you from falling debris.

  • Harnessing equipment

Working in the steel industry exposes you to the risk of falling from great heights. Before you go on elevation tools such as platforms and ladders, make sure your harnessing equipment fits right.

  • Safety shoes

These shoes act as a protective barrier for your feet from getting punctured by sharp objects in constructions sites. Additionally, safety footwear has enough traction to prevent you from falling and tripping in a slippery environment.

Inspect beforehand

When it comes to handling steel stock, such as pipes in the Philippines, there is usually equipment involved. It is important that you inspect each of these equipment before work to prevent damage and accidents.

Lifting attachments

  • Check if the chain shorteners are properly installed
  • Ensure that web slings haven’t gone into contact with sharp edges
  • Check wire ropes for damage


  • Ensure that it has a catwalk to go on when loading and unloading happens
  • Check for its headboard, as it protects drivers from moving too forward
  • Check for its tailboard, as it protects drivers from moving too backward


  • Make sure that operators are qualified to handle them
  • Should be marked with a clear capacity limit
  • Should be provided with safety features, e.g. warning signals

Shelving systems

  • Should have cross braces to prevent collapse
  • Should have bollard posts from protection from equipment damage

Lift properly

Lift Properly

People who work with steel products are required to operate lifting hoists. These vehicles are very useful in carrying and moving loads too heavy for workers to carry manually. All hoists use different type of slings made of these different materials:

  • Mesh- these slings are great for carrying hot, wide, and sharp-edged steel materials.
  • Synthetic- due to its light weight and flexibility, it is perfect for loads that need to be protected from damage.
  • Wire Rope- used for heavy and rugged loads.
  • Chain- the strongest material out of the four for it can carry the heaviest loads. Additionally, it is easy to use and highly durable.

Unfortunately, a lot of operators are usually undertrained, and their lack of knowledge makes them vulnerable to safety hazards and minor accidents. Furthermore, they are prone to mishandling slings and breaking them. Thus, it is important, that you follow these steps to properly lift steel.

  • Before Lifting

Before you lift your load, check first the loading capacity of each sling. Examine each attachment by looking at its size, length, and thickness. By inspecting all of its qualities, you will know which material is appropriate for the weight and type of steel. Next, remove any seen knots in the slings.

Lastly, watch for any obstructions such as debris, power lines, and extra personnel in the route. Remove them and remind people to move away. When it comes to power lines, always keep a 10-feet distance from those.

  • Lifting

First, start by placing the hoist’s attachment in the center of the steel load. Afterward, lift the material slowly and check if it swings. When it does, lower the stack and adjust the attachment accordingly until the stack does not move left and right.

Key Takeaway

Steel, despite its strengths, is an innately dangerous material. It is vital that workers who handle this material on a daily basis take care of themselves by following these safety precautions.