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Structural Ironwork



Structural Ironwork encompasses the unloading, erection, and connection of fabricated steel columns, pre-cast beams, columns, and panels for the construction of towers, bridges, stadiums, and other large building projects. The most identifiable group of Structural Ironworkers is known as the raising gang. A raising gang consists of two crews: the ground or hook-on crew and the connectors. The hook-on crew are Ironworkers who identify steel construction elements in a laydown yard according to a picking sequence and attach rigging to it to allow the crane to hoist it into position. Knowledge of rigging and the ability to determine the center point of sometimes unevenly constructed construction elements are key to safe and effective picks. After the crane has hoisted these picks into the air, the connectors who work from either preexisting erected steel or mechanical lifts guide the piece into place and fasten it. Connecting work, along with welding, have become iconic aspects of Ironwork. Body strength and balance as well as a fearless competence at increasing heights are a must for the connector who wants to earn his or her place as a cowboy of the sky. The successful raising gang is a well-oiled machine that runs on the knowledge of one's particular job, a situational awareness of both the crane's boom and the presence of pieces in the air, and the ability to use hand signals and other forms of communication to surmount the increased distance between hook-on crew and connectors. For the Ironworker who finds great satisfaction in climbing to great heights and aiding in the erection of grand structures Structural Ironwork awaits.