Steel fixers position and secure the steel bars and mesh used to reinforce concrete on construction and engineering schemes. They work on a wide variety of jobs including commercial and industrial development, multi-storey housing and civil engineering projects, such as roadworks, tunnels and bridges.
Following engineering plans, steel fixers set out the work area, use hand and power tools to cut and bend bars or mesh, tie rebar (reinforcement bars) together with wire, clips or welds to build up cages or sections, insert spacers and ‘chairs’ (supports), fix the formwork and shuttering used to hold setting concrete in place, join cages and sections, fix steel to concrete bases and install beams and precast slabs.
Steel fixers may also be involved with pre-stressing, post-stressing and tensioning materials, using hydraulic jacks and tensioning mechanisms.
Steel fixers work closely with engineering designers, steel erectors and other construction tradespeople.
Steel fixers normally work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Overtime at weekends may be necessary to meet deadlines.
The work can be carried out underground, at ground level or at heights, depending on the project; in all cases the work is physically demanding. Personal protective equipment is worn, such as safety helmets and boots. Travel from site to site is necessary, so a driving licence may be required.
To be a steel fixer, you should:
Employment opportunities follow trends in the construction industry and are currently good. Most steel fixers work on a sub-contract basis for steel fixing and erection firms. With experience, progression to supervisory positions is possible.
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