Proposed Regulatory Text for New Reinforcing Steel and Post-Tensioning OSHA Regulations From Industry Stakeholders

  1. Site Access and layout.

The controlling contractor shall ensure that the following is provided and maintained:

(1)   Adequate access roads into and through the site for the safe delivery and movement of derricks, cranes, trucks, other necessary equipment, and the material to be erected and means and methods for pedestrian and vehicular control.  Exception:  this requirement does not apply to roads outside of the construction site.

(2)    A firm, properly graded, drained area, readily accessible to the work with adequate space for the safe storage of “reinforcing and post-tensioning” materials and the safe operation of the “reinforcing contractors” equipment.

(3)   Adequate exterior platform for landing materials on the floors of multi-tiered buildings.

(4)   Adequate benching and/or shoring prior to the commencement of reinforcing operations in excavations and/or trenches.


  1. Written Notifications Prior to Commencement of Reinforcing Steel Activities

Approval to begin reinforcing steel installation. Before authorizing the commencement of reinforcing steel activities, the controlling contractor shall ensure that the reinforcing steel contractor on the project is provided with the following written notifications.

(1)   Formwork and falsework have been inspected by a competent person of the controlling contractor prior to, during, and immediately after the installation of reinforcing steel and placement of the concrete.

(2)   The structural stability of vertical formwork, elevated decks, and other working/walking surfaces are adequately braced, guyed, or supported to allow safe access of reinforcing employees, materials, and equipment.

(3)   The benching and/or shoring for excavations has been inspected by a competent person of the controlling contractor.

  1. Stability Requirements for Vertical and Horizontal Columns, Walls, and Other Reinforcing Assemblies

Structural stability of vertical and horizontal reinforcing steel assemblies shall be maintained at all times.

(1)   Vertical and horizontal columns, caissons, walls, drilled piers, top mats, and other reinforcing steel assemblies shall be guyed, braced, or supported to prevent structural collapse.

(2)   Guying, bracing, or supports shall be installed under the direction of a competent person.

(3)   Guying, bracing, or supports shall be removed with the approval of a competent person.

(4)   The controlling contractor shall bar other construction processes below or near the erection of reinforcement assemblies until they are adequately supported and/or secured to prevent structural collapse.

(5)   Prefabricated walls, caissons, drilled piers, and other modular reinforcing steel assemblies that are free-standing shall be guyed, braced, or supported under the direction of a competent person.

(6)   Systems for guying, bracing, or supports shall be designed by a qualified person of the controlling contractor, and removed only with the approval of a competent person.

  1. Requirements for Impalement Protection and Custody of Impalement Covers

(1)    Employees shall not be permitted to work above or around unprotected reinforcing bar or other hazardous projections protruding from vertical or horizontal surfaces that create an impalement hazard.

(2)   Impalement covers shall include covers, troughs, or other devices that have been engineered by a qualified person to prevent impalement.

(3)   When impalement covers are provided by the reinforcing steel contractor, they shall remain in the area where reinforcing activities has been completed, to be used by other trades, only if the controlling contractor or its authorized representative:

a)     Has directed the reinforcing steel contractor to leave the impalement covers in place;

b)     Has inspected and accepted control and responsibility of the impalement covers prior to authorizing persons other than reinforcing steel employees to work in the area.

  1. Requirements for Hoisting and Rigging Reinforcement Assemblies

(1)  A qualified rigger (a rigger who is also a qualified person) shall inspect the rigging prior to each shift in accordance with § 1926.251.

(2)  Routes for suspended loads shall be pre-planned to ensure that no employee is required to work directly below a suspended load except for:

a)     Employees engaged in the placing or initial connection of the reinforcement assemblies; or

b)    Employees necessary for the hooking or unhooking of the load.

(3)  When working under suspended loads, the following criteria shall be met:

a)     Materials being hoisted shall be rigged to prevent unintentional displacement;

b)    Hooks with self-closing safety latches or their equivalent shall be used to prevent components from slipping out of the hook; and

(4)  All loads shall be rigged by a qualified rigger

(5)  All lifting devices below the hook such as spreader bars used for hoisting pre-assembled cages, walls, columns, beams and other structures shall be designed and fabricated under the direction of a qualified person in accordance with the ASME B 30.20 requirements.”

(6)  The controlling contractor shall bar all activities under or near hoisting operations including unloading and staging areas for reinforcement assemblies.

  1. Requirements for Post Tensioning Activities

(1) No stressing operations shall commence prior to the controlling contractor providing written documentation to the company performing the stressing operation that the minimum specified initial concrete compressive strength has been achieved.

(2) No one shall be permitted to stand behind, in line with or directly above the stressing equipment or the full length of the tendon(s), including the fixed end anchorage.

(3) Signs and barriers shall be erected to limit access into the stressing area only to personnel engaged in stressing or de-tensioning operations.

(4) The controlling contractor shall bar other construction processes from working in barricaded areas during stressing operations.

 (5)    The controlling contractor shall ensure that an adequate safe work platform of a minimum of (3) feet (this can include an extension of formwork) including handrails, or equivalent, is provided for stressing tendons, cutting tendon tails, and grouting.  All work platforms shall be clear of any materials not related to the work process.

 (6) Stressing equipment shall be secured during operation to prevent accidental displacement.

 (7) Prior to stressing, stressing equipment must have current stressing equipment calibrations per contract specifications available on-site.  A competent person shall verify adequacy of stressing equipment calibrations and inspect the stressing equipment for visible signs of defects immediately before stressing and periodically during the stressing operations. The use of stressing equipment shall conform to the manufactures recommendations.

(8) During stressing operations methods shall be employed to insure that supporting shoring does not fall due to cambering of concrete during stressing operations. Dead loads and construction loads (including those due to stressing) shall be considered in the design of the forms and shoring. 

  1. Fall Protection Requirements

1)   Employees shall not be permitted to place or tie reinforcing steel in walls, piers, columns, and other reinforcement assemblies, more than 6 feet above an adjacent surface, unless a personal fall protection systems is used in accordance with Subpart M requirements.  Exception: Point to point horizontal or vertical travel on reinforcing steel up to 24 feet above the surface below providing there are no impalement hazards.

2)   Unprotected sides and edges.  Employees engaged in reinforcing steel operations shall not be permitted to access elevated decks or walkways until the controlling contractor has installed perimeter and interior guardrails systems, or covers.

  1. Requirements for Formwork and Falsework Stability

1)   The controlling contractor shall ensure that formwork is inspected by a competent person prior to, during, and immediately after the installation of reinforcing steel and placement of the concrete. A competent person performing these inspections shall have been approved, in writing, by an engineer. A written report of the inspections shall be required.  Reinforcing steel and concrete shall not be placed until the report on the erected formwork indicates approval for placement.

2)   Prior to the commencement of jacking and grading of bridge decks, the controlling contractor shall prohibit employee access to bridge decks during jacking and grading operations.

  1. Training Requirements

1)      The employer shall ensure that each employee who performs reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities has been provided training in the following areas:

a)     The nature of the hazards associated with reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities; and

b)    The proper procedures and equipment to perform reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities and;

c)     Employees involved in reinforcing bar and post-tensioning operations shall be certified by a qualified evaluator (third-party).  “Qualified evaluator (third party) means an entity that, due to its independence and expertise, has demonstrated that it is competent in accurately assessing whether individuals meet the training requirements in this subpart.