Washington OSHA Pursues New Reinforcing Steel Safety Standards

In this April 27, 2018, file photo, steel coils are stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Duisburg is the biggest steel producer site in Europe. Image credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File
In this April 27, 2018, file photo, steel coils are stored at the Thyssenkrupp steel factory in Duisburg, Germany. Duisburg is the biggest steel producer site in Europe. Image credit: AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File

Washington—The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (DOSH) confirmed decision to pursue new reinforcing steel and post-tensioning standards proposed by the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.

The Department of Labor intends to update the requirements for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities outlined in Part O of the Chapter 296-155 WAC Standards for Construction Work titled, “Concrete, Concrete forms, Shoring, and Masonry Construction.” The rulemaking will include provisions of the American National Standards Institute’s revised A10.9 (2013) titled, “Safety Requirements for Concrete and Masonry Work in 2018.” Part O of Chapter 296-155 WAC does not address hazards related to reinforcing steel and post tensioning work.

DOSH is initiating the rulemaking in response to a petition from Iron Workers’ General Secretary Ronald Piksa and Executive Director of Safety & Health Steve Rank. A Preproposal Statement Of Inquiry (CR-101) was filed on March 5, 2019 to announce the rulemaking. Identifying and amending relevant parts of Chapter 296-155 WAC - Part O will reduce employee exposures to falls, struck by hazards, and impalement hazards associated with formwork collapse.

Stakeholder meetings are being held to gather information from parties in the construction industry that are interested in updating the requirements of the rule.

Reinforcing steel stakeholders are pleased with the DOSH’s decision to follow California OSHA’s lead in adopting new safety standards for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. 

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