Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|
| Standard Number:||1926.701(b)|
|OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.|
All protruding reinforcing steel, onto and into which employees could fall, shall be guarded to eliminate the hazard of impalement.Prior to the revision of Subpart Q in June 1988, the provision addressing the hazard of impalement from reinforcing steel (rebar)1 required only that the employer guard vertically protruding reinforcing steel when employees were working above it. The June 1988 revision broadened conditions for which the standard would apply by requiring guarding of all protruding reinforcing steel onto and into which employees could fall. In the preamble to the June 1988 revision, the discussion for §1926.701(b) explained the Agency's intent in making this change:
...OSHA's intent is to eliminate the hazard of impalement completely. OSHA did not intend that the use of the word "above" [in the old provision] would be construed to mean that the entire body of an employee would have to be "above" the protruding steel. OSHA realizes that employees could be, in fact, often are, in a position where only part of their body is above the protruding steel, such as walking alongside of protruding rebar where[,] as TSA [Technical Safety Associates, Ex. 14-34] points out, the employee could trip and then fall into the steel. Likewise, there are situations where the steel is protruding from a horizontal direction and employees could fall or trip into the steel and become impaled... (53 FR 22618)Therefore, in situations where horizontal rebar is situated in such a way that a worker could trip and fall into it and become impaled, protection would have to be provided.
|Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents|