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Developing a Safety Training on Warehouse Worker Hazards for Structural Steel Fabricating and Supply Companies

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Teaching the Business Side of Construction

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Page Count


Page Numbers

26.488.1 - 26.488.8



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Paper Authors


Carla Lopez Del Puerto University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Orcid 16x16

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Carla Lopez del Puerto, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor
Construction Engineering and Management
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

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Tim L. Mrozowski Michigan State University


Lawrence F. Kruth Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation

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Larry Kruth is the Vice President of Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation and is also a member of their Board of Directors. With over thirty years of structural engineering experience, Larry is responsible for the coordination of all company activities. Larry is a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Michigan and Pennsylvania. He is Member of the Board of Directors of AISC, Chair of the AISC Safety Committee, and Vice-Chair of AISC TC-13 Quality Control & Assurance Specification Committee. He’s a member of the AISC Research Committee, AISC TC-6 Connection Design Specification Committee, AISC Full Specification Committee, and the Research Council on Structural Connections. He’s also been appointed to the MIOSHA Part 26, Structural Steel Erection Advisory Committee and MIOSHA Part 10, Lifting & Digging Advisory Committee. The Structural Engineers Association of Michigan has named Larry as the 2011 Structural Engineer of the Year.

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Thomas J. Schlafly American Institute of Steel Construction


Omar I. Molina Bas University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez

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Omar I. Molina Bas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Unit Coordinator
Construction Engineering and Management
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus

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Developing an Safety Training on Warehouse Worker Hazards for Structural Steel Fabricating and Supply CompaniesThe paper presents the results of a collaboration effort between two US universities, TheAmerican Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) and a steel fabricating corporation to developand implement a bilingual (English and Spanish) safety training on warehouse worker hazardsfor structural steel fabricating and supply companies. Structural steel fabricators receivestructural steel material, fabricate structural elements for steel framed buildings and bridgesand then ship fabricated material to projects. Steel service centers are steel wholesalers whopurchase material from steel mills and distribute steel to structural steel fabricators.Workers in structural steel fabricating and supply companies are at an increased risk of fataland non-fatal injuries. In addition to exposure to common warehouse worker hazards in otherindustries, structural steel warehouse workers are exposed to risks related to the large, heavyand variable nature of the steel material they handle. Furthermore, a large portion ofwarehouse workers employed in structural steel fabricating and supply companies speakSpanish as their native language and have limited English fluency that puts them and their co-workers at an increased risk of fatal and non-fatal injuries.Structural steel warehouse workers face many barriers to receiving adequate safety trainingthat is in a language and manner that workers can understand. The structural steel fabricatingand supply industry includes many small companies that are geographically distributed amongthe United States and may lack the resources to develop and implement adequate trainingprograms for their workers. When training is available, it is often offered in English which limitsthe Spanish-only worker’s ability to understand the training and may increase the risk ofinjuries due to employers falsely believing that workers are trained to safely perform theirduties.In order to address the barriers to adequate training, the research team successfully obtained atraining grant from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop anEnglish and Spanish Warehouse Worker training curricula for use with worker training. Thetraining consists of peer to peer activity based learning. The training covers potential hazardexposures that flow from warehousing and processing tasks such as off-loading and loadingmaterials, movement of material by overhead crane, forklift, loaders or by hand, falls fromequipment or loads, struck by or caught between accidents, musculoskeletal injuries due tolifting, bending or working overhead, electrical equipment operation and maintenancerequiring safe practices and lock-out/tag-out, and welding and chemical processes. Educationalmaterials consist of a six contact hour worker training which includes activity based learning,PowerPoint presentations, demonstration materials, trainee workbooks and a learningoutcomes assessment.This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by highlighting the results of a partnershipbetween academia, a professional society and a company to develop and implement a safetytraining program with the common goal of decreasing the number of fatal and non-fatal injuriesamong structural steel warehouse workers. The paper concludes with recommendations forthose interested in forming partnerships to develop and implement training programs.

Lopez Del Puerto, C., & Mrozowski, T. L., & Kruth, L. F., & Schlafly, T. J., & Molina Bas, O. I. (2015, June), Developing a Safety Training on Warehouse Worker Hazards for Structural Steel Fabricating and Supply Companies Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23827

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