5 Ways Cold-Formed Steel Improves On-Site Job Safety
Cold-formed steel (CFS) is becoming popular in construction because of its light weight, strength, and ease of use. But did you know cold-formed steel can also make construction job sites safer?
In this blog, we discuss five ways cold-formed steel contributes to workplace safety and productivity.
What is Cold-Formed Steel?
Let’s first look at what cold-formed steel is in order to understand how it can impact safety on job sites.
CFS is steel shaped and molded at relatively low temperatures. It is created by bending or pulling it into the desired form while the material remains cold.
Frequently utilized in the construction sector, CFS boasts a higher strength-to-weight ratio than hot-rolled steel.
Additionally, it offers enhanced resistance to corrosion and cracking, making it a favored option for structural frames, windows, doors, and other building components.
Construction Sites Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
An old adage says, “The shortest distance between two points is under construction.” While that’s an amusing bon mot, what actually lies between those two points is often a construction site filled with tricky hazards.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), construction workers routinely engage in activities that can expose them to danger such as falling from heights, being struck by construction equipment, slips and trips, and mishaps related to handling heavy, cumbersome materials such as those found in more traditional building methods.
Add to this, construction work can be exhausting. Workers often arrive at a job site feeling tired and lacking focus.
How Does CFS Improve On-Site Job Safety?
Saves on Construction Time
Cold-formed steel construction methods help reduce construction time by providing pre-engineered steel framing and pre-manufactured structural components.
Advanced construction automation systems ensure these components are cut to precise measurements in a factory offsite. This eliminates the time-consuming and potentially dangerous process of on-site welding and cutting in the chaotic atmosphere of a construction project.
The Benefits of Being Lightweight
Cold-formed steel framing components are more lightweight than some other traditional construction materials. This reduces the amount of labor needed. Because CFS components are lighter, they can be erected more quickly and efficiently with fewer workers.
Lighter steel framing components mean less physical strain workers endure. Plus, smaller crews spending less time at a dangerous construction site means fewer possible injuries and more time for workers’ bodies to recover and rejuvenate between shifts.
Greater Fire Resistance
The National Fire Protection Association states that between 2016 and 2020, local fire departments annually attended an average of 4,300 fires in buildings at various construction phases.
Fire damage from these incidents resulted in $376 million worth of direct property loss each year as well as injuries and fatalities.
Prefabricated CFS framing has greater fire resistance than wood due to its inherent characteristics. It also provides superior protection against fire, heat, and smoke.
Moreover, CFS does not support combustion, meaning it won’t catch fire nor will it contribute to the spread of a fire at a job site.
Strength and Flexibility
CFS has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, making it strong and flexible. This allows for the structure to bend and move with the building, a feature that’s critical in high-wind situations, earthquakes, and their aftershocks.
Traditional heavy materials like concrete, brick, and masonry are brittle and stiff, meaning they are much more likely to crack and break under pressure, which can lead to collapse and injury.
Just as traditional heavy materials present challenges and dangers during various construction phases, they can be equally problematic during demolition and disposal.
Cold-formed steel is not only safer and more reliable during the erection process, but it is also fully recyclable, and the process is very straightforward.
Cold-formed steel is an ideal material for mid-rise construction projects as it offers a variety of benefits that can improve job safety. It is lightweight, easy to install, and durable, making it an excellent choice for many types of midrise build projects.
Utilizing prefabricated CFS framing eliminates the need for on-site cutting and welding because it can be easily customized to suit specific job requirements. It has a very high strength-to-weight ratio making it strong but flexible, plus it’s fire-resistant.
Finally, prefabricated CFS takes a lot of the hot work off-site in a controlled environment, producing a safer on-site work environment.
With all these advantages, it is easy to see cold-formed steel’s obvious bottom-line benefits and why it is an excellent choice for improving on-site job safety.
To learn more about incorporating CFS into your next mid-rise project, contact the team of experts at All Steel Mid-Rise today!
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