Wood trusses help create large, open living, and work spaces. Trusses are strong because of their triangular components fastened together. However, improper truss construction can come tumbling down like a house of cards and injure workers.

The truss installation crew and crane operator should coordinate their efforts by creating a job plan. The plan should include information on where the trusses will be built, stored, in what order they will be installed, and how they will be fastened and secured.

Before beginning construction, examine the framing system and trusses to ensure that they are solid and stable. To protect the stability of the trusses, store them properly by supporting them off of the ground, on platforms, etc.  Don’t cut, drill, or alter trusses unless you have explicit instructions to do so from the truss manufacturer.

Make sure stored trusses are kept bundled together so they don’t slide and shift. Loose trusses should be stored horizontally stacked. Move trusses in the upright position using the top chords as anchor points. Don’t lift or move truss bundles using their storage banding, it could give way suddenly and drop the load. Don’t let trusses bend laterally, they could break suddenly and cause injuries.

Install and secure trusses according to the building design plan. Ensure that trusses are properly secured with restraints at all required points so they don’t topple over. Install structural sheathing on the trusses as you go to cover, protect, and stabilize them. Don’t store equipment and materials on truss systems unless they meet the load capacity.

Before truss construction, understand construction site safety rules. Use the personal protective equipment required to do the job safely. Use fall protection where needed with proper harnesses and anchor points. Use a crane safely by getting required certification and following good hoisting procedures.