August 15, 2012
OSHA statistics show that 61% of construction accidents were due to impalement from rebar. Unguarded protruding steel reinforcing bars are hazardous. Even if you just stumble onto an unguarded rebar you can impale yourself, resulting in serious internal injuries or death.
There are a number of ways to avoid rebar hazards. First, guard all protruding ends of steel rebar with rebar caps or wooden troughs. Rebar caps can be used to protect from scratches and minor injuries.
A rebar cap is a special steel-reinforced plastic “mushroom” cap that is placed on protruding rebar at construction sites. Even though it’s small, these caps provide effective protection from injuries. If there is a long row of rebar, a 2x4 piece of lumber can actually be placed on top of these caps providing another layer of protection from impalement and other injuries. Rebar can also be bent so exposed ends are no longer upright. And finally, when employees are working at any height above exposed rebar, fall protection/prevention is the first line of defense against impalement.