California moves first on Iron Workers’ revised rebar, P-T safety standards

Source: Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust, Washington, D.C.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) is the first state-approved Occupational Safety and Health Administration plan to adopt the Iron Workers’ (IW) comprehensive updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning practice.

“The 1971 federal OSHA standard is antiquated and must be updated,” says IW Executive Director of Safety and Health Steve Rank. “It doesn’t address many hazards that cause serious incidents during common reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities.” As part of IW General President Eric Dean’s 2017 ZERO Incident Campaign, he adds, the IW Safety and Health Department has targeted OSHA standard updates to prevent incidents and fatalities, and will pursue new reinforcing steel and post-tensioning standards in other state-approved OSHA plans throughout the country.

The IW Safety and Health Department has conferred with the IW Department of Reinforcing Steel, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Association of Reinforcing Steel Contractors, Post-Tensioning Institute and the Western Steel Council to reform existing standards since 2010. In 2013, the American National Standards Institute updated its A10.9 Concrete and Masonry standard to reflect comprehensive reforms the IW Safety and Health Department and industry stakeholders proposed.

IW cites a direct correlation between incident trends and lack of regulations specific to reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities, and calls the California OSHSB-adopted reforms a major step towards reducing preventable fatalities and injuries. The IW Safety and Health Department urges other state OSHA plans to follow Cal-OSHA’s and ANSI’s lead.