The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board unanimously voted to adopt the Iron Workers’ comprehensive safety standard updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. California is the first state-approved OSHA plan to work with the Iron Workers’ to reform existing safety standards. The Iron Workers’ Safety and Health Department has been working with the Iron Workers’ Department of Reinforcing Steel and industry stakeholders such as the 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 Iron Workers’ Safety and Health Department and the industry stakeholders proposed. As part of the 2017 ZERO Incident Campaign commissioned by the Iron Workers’ General President Eric Dean, the Iron Workers’ Safety and Health Department is pursuing updates to the 1971 federal OSHA standard to prevent incidents and fatalities. It continues to pursue new reinforcing steel and post-tensioning standards in other state-approved OSHA plans throughout the country.
“The 1971 federal OSHA standard is antiquated and must be updated,” said Iron Workers’ 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.”
There’s a direct correlation between incident trends and lack of regulations specific to reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. The reforms adopted by the California OSHSB are a major step towards reducing preventable fatalities and injuries. The Iron Workers’ Safety and Health Department is urging other state OSHA plans to follow Cal-OSHA’s and American National Standards Institute’s lead.
The new standards are expected to be in effect in January 2017. A series of town hall meetings will be held in California to help reinforcing steel contractors and ironworkers prepare for the implementation.