Erecting Beams

Erecting Beams is a straight forward process. The best practices for doing so are listed below.


Installing A Single Beam

  • Note: Beams include purlins, girts and horizontal tubes that bolt.
  • If you are using a Stanchion Post Fall Protection system on carrier beams have that in place before moving forward.
  • Attach rigging in center of load using the appropriate choker.
  • Signal the crane operator to lift beam. Adjust the crane’s line (by signaling the operator) to remain above the rigging point of the lift as the beam is being raised.
    Once the beam is lifted off the ground and the crane has the complete weight, stop the lift until the load settles (if required). Once the load settles, proceed to signal the crane operator to move the beam into position.
  • Attach beam to supporting structure using a sufficient number of bolts or sufficient amount of weld to ensure the structural integrity before weight of load is placed on the connection plates.
  • Ensure columns have sufficient lateral support before installing members, such as crane beams, girts, and outriggers, which could cause the column to be  eccentrically loaded.
  • Once load line on the crane has no weight, check the structural stability of the member. If it’s secure, release choker from beam. If required, add additional temporary bracing to secure the member before releasing crane hoist.


  • During the final placing of solid web structural members, the load should not be released from the hoisting line until the member is secured with at least two bolts per connection, wrench tight. Secondary member must have one bolt wrench tight.
  • A competent person must determine whether more than two bolts are required to ensure stability of a connection.
  • Avoid the use of connections, where possible, to the top flanges of beams, joists, or beam attachments in which they project vertically from or horizontally across the top flange.
  • During erection, diagonal bracing must be secured by at least one bolt per connection, wrench tight, before releasing load.
  • If a seat or equivalent device is used, it must be sized to support the weight of the construction process.
  • Where two beams, framing from opposite sides of a supporting member, share the same bolts, a clipped connection should be used unless a seated connection is used to facilitate safe erection.

Multiple Lift Rigging (Christmas treeing)

  • Components of the multiple lift rigging assembly shall be specifically designed and assembled with a maximum capacity for total assembly and for each individual attachment point. This capacity, certified by the manufacturer or a qualified rigger, shall be based on the manufacturer’s specifications with a 5 to 1 safety factor for all components.
  • The total load shall not exceed:
  • The rated capacity of the hoisting equipment specified in the hoisting equipment load charts;
  • The rigging capacity specified in the rigging rating chart.
  • The multiple lift rigging assembly shall be rigged with members:
  • Attached at their center of gravity and maintained reasonably level;
  • Rigged from top down; and
  • Rigged at least 7 feet (2.1 m) apart.
  • The members on the multiple lift rigging assembly shall be set from the bottom up.

Controlled load lowering shall be used whenever the load is over the connectors


Steel Estimating Solutions

Vince Hughes



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