Lesson Learned/Best Practice Briefing


TitleHazards Associated with Walking on Rebar

EventOther Facility Event

Event Date01/31/2019

CategoryESH-Subcontractor Safety - Fall Protection-General, Construction Safety

Lesson ID: Y-2019-FBPORTS-0101 (Source: User Submitted)

Originating Organization or Contracting Company: Chris McDade, Manager Onsite Waste Disposal Facility, (740) 897-3358

Date: 1/31/2019

Contact: Chris McDade, Manager Onsite Waste Disposal Facility, (740) 897-3358

Classifier: Sam Eldridge, (740) 897-2677 Reviewer: Sam Eldridge, (740) 897-2677

Statement: When installing/constructing reinforced concrete structures wherein horizontal reinforcing (rebar) is regularly and necessarily walked upon during the tying process, workers need to apply additional focus due to the activity being fraught with inherent trip/fall hazards. An iron worker caught his foot in the steel while tying rebar resulting in a fall twisting the ankle which was later found to be broken.

Discussion: On January 24, 2019, four iron workers were tying steel on a single layer wall mat prior to erection. The work location had been leveled and graveled to provide an all-weather surface, and the mat was elevated to provide finger clearance by placing it solidly on 4 inch x 4 inch lumber. The weather had been inclement with occasional light snow fall, but the mat had been cleaned off to prevent slippage.

The workers had been briefed to the hazards associated with the work using the project Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and daily general Safety Task Analysis (STA), and a separate activity specific STA had been developed which directly addressed the potential for trip/fall. All four workers were experienced iron workers accustomed to this type of work.

At approximately 08:45, the affected worker was bending forward tying steel rebar together when he mis-stepped, caught his foot in the steel, and fell twisting his ankle. Following the accident the worker was seen at the site medical facility and taken to an offsite hospital for X-rays, which confirmed the ankle was fractured.

Analysis: Review of the incident during investigation and the subsequent fact-finding meeting revealed no effective way to eliminate the hazard without introducing new hazards. The methods used are industry standard accepted practices, and all controls were in place.

Recommended Actions: This event serves as a reminder that construction work is inherently dangerous, and full attention must be paid to the task at-hand to prevent injury.

Immediate compensatory measures taken included:

- A contractor initiated Safety Work Pause for all ironwork while the investigation was performed.

- A Safety Site Briefing was held to inform all contractor personnel on the details of the incident.

- The contractors Work plan, JHA, and both STAs were reviewed for potential flaws.

- The injured employee and witnesses were interviewed and statements were taken.

- A fact-finding meeting was held and possible corrective actions were discussed.

Actions to Prevent Recurrence

Lessons Learned are part of the ISM Core Function 5, Feedback and Improvement. Applicable Lessons Learned are to be considered during working planning activities and incorporated in work processes, prior to performing work.
Please contact the following subject matter experts if you have any questions regarding this briefing.

Give feedback for this briefing

For other lessons learned and best practices, go to Lessons Learned and Best Practices Library