The Iron Workers’ comprehensive safety standard updates for reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities will take effect January 2018 as the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) has recently voted unanimously for their implementation.
The updates are part of the 2017 ZERO Incident Campaign commissioned by IW general president Eric Dean. The initiative seeks to reform the 1971 federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard to prevent more incidents and fatalities among iron workers.
In a statement by the IW, the organization says it has found that there is a direct correlation between incident trends and the lack of regulations in reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities. The reforms recently adopted by the OSHSB are considered to be a “major step” in reducing preventable casualties and faculties in the ironwork industry.
The 1971 federal OSHA standard were last updated in 2013, particularly its A10.9 Concrete and Masonry. The 2013 update reflected proposed reforms by industry stakeholders as well as the IW Safety and Health Department. However, even with the update, IW executive director of safety and health Steve Rank asserts that the 1971 federal OSHA standard remains “antiquated” and needs an overhaul.
“It doesn’t address many hazards that cause serious incidents during common reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities,” says Rank.
The IW Safety and Health Department is also encouraging other state OSHA plans to follow its lead in seeking strengthening safety standards for workers.
Moreover, a series of town hall meetings among steel contractors and ironworkers will be held in California to prepare for the implementation.