ISO and Construction: Great Things Happen When the World Agrees

iso and construction

ISO is the International Organization for Standards, and is responsible for creating consistent guidelines and specifications to ensure products and services meet rigorous guidelines– How do ISO and construction benefit each other? iso and construction

We’ve discussed what ISO means in the supply chain and we’ve debunked the myths – but what does it mean for the construction industry?  

WHY DO WE NEED ISO STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION?  

The world’s rapid population growth and rampant urbanization have brought an increasing need for a high-quality, safe and sustainable built environment. In the world of building and construction, ISO standards help codify international best practice and technical requirements to ensure buildings and other structures (known as civil engineering works) are safe and fit for purpose.

Updated on a regular basis to account for climate, demographic and social changes, ISO’s standards for construction are developed with input from all stakeholders involved – this includes architects, designers, engineers, contractors, owners, product manufacturers, regulators, policy makers and consumers.

WHO BENEFITS FROM ISO STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION?

INDUSTRY 

ISO standards help to make the construction industry more effective and efficient by establishing internationally agreed design and manufacturing specifications and processes. They cover virtually every part and process of the construction project, from the soil it stands on to the roof.

ISO standards also provide a platform for new technologies and innovations that help the industry respond to local and global challenges related to demographic evolution, natural disasters, climate change and more.

REGULATORS

Regulators can rely on best-practice test methods, processes and harmonized terminology that are constantly reviewed and improved, as a technical basis for regulation and policy related to construction.

CONSUMERS

ISO standards give consumers confidence in the construction industry, providing reassurance that buildings and related structures such as bridges are built to internationally agreed safety and quality standards. These help ensure that the buildings people live, work and study in are safe, comfortable and function as intended.

WHAT STANDARDS DOES ISO HAVE FOR CONSTRUCTION?

Of the more than 21 700* International Standards and related documents, ISO has over 1 100 related to buildings and construction, with many more in development. These cover :

 

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WHO DEVELOPS ISO STANDARDS? 

ISO standards are developed by groups of experts within technical committees (TCs). TCs are made up of representatives from industry, non-governmental organizations, governments and other stakeholders who are put forward by ISO’s members. Each TC deals with a different subject, such as buildings and civil engineering works or specific construction materials like cement or timber, often in close collaboration with other relevant international or intergovernmental organizations. As an example, ISO/TC 59, Buildings and civil engineering works, through its subcommittees and working groups, has published over 110 International Standards on aspects of quality and performance in the built environment. Visit our Website ISO.org to find out more about the standards developed in a particular sector by searching for the work of the relevant technical committee.

STRUCTURES

Ensures the components of structures are strong enough to withstand appropriate loads and everything fits together as it should is the objective of a number of ISO standards for construction. By establishing defined specifications and test methods, they help ensure structures are designed and built to agreed levels of quality.

  • ISO/TC 98, bases for design of structures, lays down the basic requirements for the design of structures. With standards focusing especially on terminology and symbols, loads and forces, it ensures constructions are built to last and can withstand outside forces such as extreme weather events and natural disasters.
  • ISO/TC 167, steel and aluminum structures, develops standards that specify requirements for the structural use of steel and aluminium alloys in the design, fabrication and erection of buildings and civil engineering works. Its scope of work includes materials, structural components and connections.
  • ISO/TC 165, timber structures, deals with the strength and load requirements of structural timber, while geotechnical analysis (interactions between soil and structure) is the focus of ISO/TC 182, Geotechnics. 

BUILDING MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS

Being able to count on reliable, quality materials is essential for the construction of safe and robust buildings. ISO has more than 100 standards related to the raw materials used in construction, such as concrete, cement, timber and glass. These include standards on terminology, testing procedures and the assessment of safety levels.

We also have over 500 standards on building products, such as doors and windows, wood-based panels, floor coverings, ceramic tiles and plastic pipes and fittings. These not only determine the correct dimensions and specifications to ensure products are manufactured to agreed quality levels, but also define test methods for assessing product safety and resistance to things like crushing or chemicals, so that they do not fail or deteriorate prematurely.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

From insulation to energy-using products, improving the energy performance of buildings can make a significant contribution to climate-related targets. As a result, building regulations increasingly require energy-efficient designs and measures are put in place to help improve overall performance. 

  • ISO/TC 163, thermal performance and energy use in the built environment, has more than 130 standards providing guidelines and methods for the calculation of energy consumption in buildings, covering areas such as heating, lighting, ventilation and so forth. 

ISO’s energy standards portfolio includes the recently published series ISO 52000, Energy performance of buildings – Overarching EPB assessment, which defines methods to help architects, engineers and regulators assess the overall energy performance of new and existing buildings in a holistic way.

  • ISO/TC 205, building environment design, has a range of standards defining methods and processes for the design of new buildings and retrofit of existing buildings, to create acceptable indoor environments and practicable energy conservation and efficiency

ISO also produces standards that measure carbon emissions from buildings and structures – these include:

  • ISO 21930, sustainability in buildings and civil engineering works – cores rules for environmental product declarations of construction products & services, which establish good practices for environmental claims and communications in the construction sector. 

FIRE SAFETY & FIRE FIGHTING

Fires cause destruction and devastation, costing the lives and livelihoods of people. With the increased density of housing, protecting against fires and detecting fire risks have never been more important.

  • ISO/TC 21, equipment for fire protection and fire fighting, develops standards covering fire protection and fire-fighting apparatus and equipment, including fire extinguishers and fire and smoke detectors.
  • ISO/TC 92, fire safety, develops standards to assess fire risk to life & property, and mitigating such risks by determining the behaviour of construction materials and building structures. 
  • ISO 7240, fire detection and alarm systems, defines the specifications of fire detection and alarm system equipment used in and around buildings – including their testing and performance – in order to ensure they function effectively. 

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION

Since most construction works are project-based, having documentation that is clearly understood by all stakeholders is essential to ensure each project is realized in a costeffective manner. Building information models (BIM) are shared digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of any built object (including buildings, bridges and roads) and form a reliable basis for decision making. They also help protect against the loss of valuable information between stages and processes.

  • ISO TC 59/SC 13, ORGANIZATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT CONSTRUCTION WORKS, develops standards that define the common terms of reference and terminology used in BIMs, as well as requirements for the digital exchange of documentation and data. 

An example is:

  • ISO 16757-1, Data structures for electronic product catalogues for building services – Part 1 : Concepts, architecture and model 
  • ISO/TS 12911, Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance 

LIFTS AND ESCALATORS

Rising urbanization and denser populations mean buildings across the world are getting taller. Efficient lifts and escalators are thus essential to cope with the increased loads and access needs and must be operable in times of disaster, such as fire, to evacuate high-rise structures.

  • ISO/TC 178, lifts, escalators and moving walks, has over 50 standards, either published or in development, for all kinds of lifts. These cover requirements for everything from planning and installation to energy performance and safety. 

One prominent example is:

  • ISO/TS 18870, lifts/elevators – Requirements for lifts used to assist in building evacuation

DESIGN LIFE, DURABILITY AND SERVICE LIFE PLANNING

  • ISO/TC 59/SC 14, design life, develops standards that offer a methodology and guidance on how to plan the service life of buildings, including predicting costs and the frequency of maintenance and repairs over their life cycle. The ISO 15686 series on service life planning deals with a wide range of subjects in this area, such as performance audits and reviews, lifecycle assessment and maintenance and life-cycle costing. 

An example is: 

  • ISO 15686-5, buildings and constructed assets service life planning part 5: life-cycle costing, which helps track the cost performance over an asset’s lifespan.

ISO STANDARDS IMPROVE SAFETY, SUSTAINABILITY AND DURABILITY IN CONSTRUCTION

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Learn more about ISO Certifications here:

ISO: WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN

ISO: DEBUNKING THE MYTHS


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Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

What is a Rigger in Construction?

what is a rigger in construction, hercules slr

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION?

What is a rigger? A rigger in construction is a person responsible for securing a load to lift, pull, hoist or move in general. They’re responsible in making sure the right equipment and hardware is used for a lift, the right methods are used to lift and the equipment used is operated properly, by a qualified professional. 

You might wonder, “Don’t all construction sites move and lift things?” And you’d be correct – functions of rigging are used on construction sites daily. However, a rigger’s responsibilities are a bit more specific. They may be brought onto a construction site to move the construction crew’s large machinery (think a skid steer or forklift) to another part of the site. Other roles a rigger might perform on, or for, a construction site are: 

  • Signal Person: This person is responsible to signal, with verbal or physical cues to workers’ who operate the lifting equipment, especially cranes.
  • Inspector/Fabricator: This person is involved in fabricating the equipment used to lift, and is also likely be used on the construction site to repair, inspect or certify rigging equipment and other lifting apparatus’ used on site. 
  • Controller: This person may be involved in operating the equipment used to lift, mechanical or otherwise. They could operate a crane, electric chain hoist or other moving gear and direct the path of hard-to-move loads. 
  • Assess and install: A rigger will determine the best equipment to be used for the load. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? HERCULES SLR EXPLAINS

As we mentioned, lots of rigging happens on a construction site daily. But a rigger may be called in to lift a load that requires specialized equipment to get the job done. Certain lifts, or equipment you need to complete those lifts, may be regulated or require certifications to operate them. In these circumstances, a rigger would be called in to complete the lift or to assess the load and determine which equipment should be applied. 

For example, one of our riggers’ was called to a site to move an excavator that had broken down. They needed the equipment moved so it could be repaired, and Hercules SLR was brought in to find the best methods and tools to lift and move it. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THE HERCULES SLR EXAMPLE

Here’s an example.

The project manager wanted to use two synthetic round slings to lift the excavator by its tracks.

Before the move, Hercules SLR riggers’ discussed the clients’ needs and expectations. The two riggers’ on the job gave their recommendations and went beyond that by finding the excavator’s manual which detailed its lifting points, and which hardware was best to use. Then, our riggers’ calculated the excavator’s load weight – after collecting and calculating all relevant information, they found that synthetic round slings’ were specifically not recommended to lift this particular excavator. 

If the project manager had simply bought the equipment he thought best to lift the excavator, it’s very likely he would have damaged a $100,000+ piece of equipment  yikes. 

This is a common example of a rigger being called in to rig something for a construction project. 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? SKILLS TO HAVE

Rigging involves the use of equipment like cranes, forklifts and large spreader-beams – this work often requires workers’ to be at heights. Working at heights is something a rigger should be comfortable with. 

Many rigger positions or construction positions with rigging as their primary role will offer some on-on-the-job and outside training, but that’s not say there aren’t useful skills to have. 

Some of the skills a rigger should have, are: 

  • Math & Science: Physics and other calculations are an everyday part of securing and rigging a load. Determining an objects’ centre of gravity, for example, is an essential skill. 
  • Operating Machinery: If you’ve skipped over the first part of this article, or it just didn’t sink in yet – operating machinery is another everyday part of rigging. Much of this machinery is electric, but manual pulley’s and hoists are used, too. If you have an interest in mechanics and problem-solving, construction rigging could be a great path for you. 
  • Adaptability: Typically, a rigger in construction will have to travel to different sites for work. Depending on the type of rigging done, a riggers’ travels can take you to faraway destinations – some of the places Hercules SLR’s riggers have gone to include Sable Island, Mexico and offshore destinations, which can be particularly isolated. 
  • Risk Management, Communication & Planning: Imagine this – you’re working with a construction crew, and you’re responsible to help build a commercial kitchen. You’ve rigged part of a large industrial walk-in refrigerator, but forgot to assess the hazardous risk for chemical refrigerants. The load’s weight hasn’t been distributed evenly and the load sways and crashes against an obstacle, damaging the container and causing it to leak. Many refrigerants contain harmful, environment-damaging chemicals and now, you’re the rigger responsible for damage to the environment, people and the equipment. Situations like this can have harmful financial, legal and fatal consequences for the rigger and everyone else involved. This is why it’s important to understand the machinery, physics and the risks associated with securing and lifting various loads – planning and being able to communicate with all involved on the job site is crucial to manage risk. 

Some of the things taught on a rigging course are:

  • Regulations/Standards
  • Rigging Planning
  • Rigging Triangle
  • Load Control
  • Sling angles
  • Rigging Equipment (slings, hitches, hardware, hooks)
  • Pre-use Inspection
  • Communications (radio and hand signals)
  • Practical Application of the equipment and principles 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? THEIR (MANY) JOB TITLES

As we explored in this article, a rigger performs many different duties, functions and must be responsible for many different aspects of a lift. Industrial trades, like construction are often associated with rigging, but riggers’ are found across nearly every industry. They might not be called a rigger, either  someone who rigs might also have these job titles: 

Boat/Ship/Marine Rigger

Crane Erector

Crane Operator

Crane Rigger

Entertainment/Stage/Theatrical Rigger

Gear Repairer

Gripper/Stage Grip

Hook Tender

Labourer

Loft Rigger

Machinery Mover

Material Handler

Offshore Inspection Technician

Offshore Rigger

Parachute Rigger

Rigging Foreman

Rig Worker

Scaffolder

Slinger/Ring

Warehouse Associate 

 

WHAT IS A RIGGER IN CONSTRUCTION? CONCLUSION

A lot’s been covered in this blog post – and we’ve only scratched the surface of some the roles a rigger plays in construction. Riggers’ in construction are often found working as crane operators, inspectors, transport truckers or millwrights.

For more information on what a rigger in construction is, check out our blogs below or e-mail info@herculesslr.com to learn how Hercules SLR’s services can assist your construction crew.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RIGGING,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

WELCOME TO ONTARIO: BRAMPTON RIGGERS TALK CHAIN HOIST SAFETY 

RISK MANAGEMENT: SAFETY IS EVERY RIGGERS’ BUSINESS

BECOME A RIGGER: YOUR CAREER MAP


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Is a career in rigging right for you? Hercules SLR will lift you there.

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

Construction Safety Tips: secure your worksite

construction-safety-secure-worksite

Construction safety: a growing need

Construction safety—this looks different to many people. Whether it’s wearing safety glasses, full PPE or never working at the sight of rain, safety standards are rarely the same for all workers or worksites.

The construction industry is currently growing, therefore, construction safety is a growing issue, too. Builders now seek to accommodate a growing population by building apartments, condominiums and other buildings that maximize available space, says Statistics Canada. In 2017, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association reports nearly 600,00 on and off-site jobs in new home construction.

Basically, communities are growing and business is boomin’—project managers and contractors alike should consider ways they can secure their worksites. Read on for 6 construction safety tips from CONEXPO to help secure your worksite.

Construction safety: 6 tips

Communicate with law enforcement

Establish connection with local law enforcement units, ideally before construction begins. Ask about the crime in the local area, trends or other crimes common to the area.

Keep technology offsite

Theft of private information via technology is a real issue facing project managers. Take home computers at the end of the day, and limit private information on the worksite to limit computer-theft and a company crisis.

Post warning signs

Make the perimeter of your jobsite clear. Warning labels are essential to mark hazards or injuries that could happen to trespassers. Make sure signage accompanies other security measures (like barbed-wire fences) to clarify the warning. Proper signage can help a company avoid a slew of legal issues when and if intruders become injured.

construction-safety-danger-warning-sign
Post signs like this around the worksite perimeter.
Keep track of your equipment

Be sure to park heavy equipment in a well-lit and secure area, and have a checkout procedure in place for equipment, tools and materials on the worksite.  Lock gas caps and equipment when the worksite is closed with anti-theft devices. If using expensive or high-valued equipment, consider hiding a GPS-tracking device on it.

Understand potential theft

Look at your worksite and try to imagine potential situations—thieves may steal equipment that helps them steal other things. For example, a saw may be stolen to cut the lock from an excavator and drive it away. Try to position tools and equipment that can break locks away from each other.

Assign a loss prevention manager

Assign an employee to survey the worksite at the beginning and end of each day, track equipment checkout, maintain contact with law enforcement and track worksite entrances and exits.

Securing your worksite is an essential aspect of construction safety. Be proactive—protect worksite equipment and ensure productivity and progress isn’t slowed or stopped due to thieves or vandalism.

References: 
- https://www.chba.ca/CHBADocs/CHBA/HousingCanada/Information-Statistics/Impacts/1%20Canada%20Economic%20Impacts%20of%20New%20Home%20Construction%202017.pdf
- https://www.equipmentjournal.com/on-the-job/construction-site-safety/

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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.