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What does an ironworker do ?


The major work classifications, including a description of the operations, are as follows:


Structural Ironworker: erects structural steel bridges, building viaducts, dams, docks, dredges, offshore drilling rigs, vessels, locks, gates, aqueduct, reservoirs, spillways, flumes, caissons, dam gates, cofferdams, subways, tunnels, cableways, tramways, Gantry, Whirly, Hammerhead & other cranes, blast furnaces, stoves, kilns, ovens, spray booths, dryers, roof decking and application of sheeting to Structural Steel Frames; they also erect all pre-stressed and post-stressed concrete members relating to the above type construction.In erecting a structure, the Ironworker must have the ability to rig the structural member into position, make the initial connection with bolts, then plum and align accurately. They must then bolt and weld the structural members to complete the job. They must above all have the ability to work at great heights, for much of the work is performed many stories above the ground level.


Ornamental Ironworker: installs metal stairways, catwalks, floor gratings, iron ladders (such as those used extensively in powerhouses and chemical plants), metal window sash and doors, ornamental grilles and screens, metal cabinets and safety deposit boxes. They also install lampposts, gates and fences and decorative iron-work on balconies. In addition to iron and steel, Ornamental Ironworkers work with aluminum, brass, bronze and other metals and plastics used in the building industry. The metal products they install are usually fabricated in a factory or shop. But the Ornamental Ironworker must have the ability to cut and work metal to a very close tolerance on the job. Examples of this are found in the curtain wall and window wall industry with its many types and designs of ornamental and functional building facades. Ironworkers fasten these metal products permanently to a building or other structure by bolting or welding.


Reinforcing Ironworker (Rodmen): set steel bars in concrete forms to reinforce concrete structures. They place the steel bars on suitable supports in the concrete form and tie the bars together at intersections so that each bar receives its intended structural load. The bars are placed in the concrete form according to blueprints, specifications or verbal instructions. The Rodmen use pliers and other tying tools to wire the rods securely in place. Some concrete reinforcing is in the form of coarse mesh made of heavy steel wires. When using mesh, the Rodmen measure the surface to be covered, cut and bend the mesh to the desired shape, and place the mesh over the area to be reinforced.


Machinery Mover & Rigger: with their knowledge of all types of light and heavy rigging, are engaged in the unloading, moving and erection of machinery on construction jobs, repair work and wherever machinery is moved in and out of plants or buildings. Types of rigging used are derricks, cranes gin poles, along with rollers, jacks, cribbing and other equipment. In many instances, special rigging equipment must be built on the job to handle machinery where unforeseen problems arise. This requires experience and knowledge of materials, cables, blocks and other rigging equipment necessary to safely handle the stresses and strains encountered.

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