Structural Steel

Debris at Heights


At a new plant in the Middle East, EPR encountered an alarming amount of debris on steel members, gallery platforms, and other horizontal surfaces up to 150' in elevation from grade.

Power plants move, vibrate, and have operating transients where loads are imparted on the structures and equipment.  Essentially, these items will eventually become falling debris with the obvious safety implications.

To further the concern some of the items are quite significant.  Pieces of angle iron, bolts, nuts, wedges, grinding wheels, and a limitless amount of other items.

In this particular plant, EPR made the contractor clean up one unit.  The debris collected filled a 10-yard dumpster.  There were an additional 15 units in this very large plant.

Most contractors have a clean and close process, but in this instance and in others evaluated by EPR, no real effort was made by the contractors to present a finished product.

Contractor Savings

None.

Repair Costs

Minimal, unless a serious safety incident occurs.

Mechanical Damage


In many developing country locations, a recurring problem is the mechanical damage to otherwise properly applied coatings due to handling abuse.

For most plants, structural steel is shop (off site) fabricated, loaded on trucks or ships, and delivered to the construction site for erection.  This is an important process because it can become quite expensive and time consuming to field repair coatings.  This can be even more true in locations with high humidity because a proper repair must be effected within the coating manufacturers indicated limitations.  This is sometimes hard to achieve.

An owner should likewise be concerned because a repaired coating system is never as durable as the original coating.  The first photo shows a typical "handling" problem.  The subsequent photos show poor repairs and unrepaired damage.  Both are so common, it seems normal.

One plant in Asia had structural steel and piping that was so abused with mechaincal damage that the plant looked 15 years old even before COD.

Contractor Savings

Nothing.  It costs nothing to handle coated pipe/steel carefully.

Repair Costs

If all teh repairs were affected, it would have cost severeral tens of millions of $.