Skip to Main Content

This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at
Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 29. Erection and Construction

Return to index
New query

§1711. Reinforcing Steel and Post-Tensioning in Concrete Construction.

(a) Scope and Application.
(1) This section sets forth the requirements for the protection of employees associated with the use of reinforcing steel assemblies used in the construction of concrete and masonry structures including post-tensioning operations.
(2) The duties of controlling contractors under this section include the duties specified in Section 1711(c), (d), (e)(5), (f), (g)(6), (h)(1), (4), and (5), and Section 1717(f).
NOTE 1: Additional requirements for reinforcing steel and concrete construction are contained in Article 20 and Article 29 of these Orders.
NOTE 2: Other relevant provisions in the GISO and CSO may apply to concrete and masonry construction operations.
(b) Definitions.
Competent Person. One who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions that are unsanitary or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
Controlling Contractor. A prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager, or any other legal entity that has the overall responsibility for the construction of the project, including planning, quality, and completion.
Dead Load. A constant load, without load factors, due to the mass (weight) of members, the supported structure and permanent attachments or accessories.
Falsework. Formwork to support concrete and placing operations for supported slabs of concrete structures, including all supporting members, hardware, and bracing.
Formwork. The total system of support for freshly placed or partially cured concrete, including the mold or sheathing (form) that is in contact with the concrete, as well as all supporting members, including shores, reshores, hardware, and braces.
Post-tensioning Operations. A method of stressing reinforced concrete in which tendons running through the concrete are tensioned after the concrete has hardened.
Qualified Person, Attendant, or Operator. A person designated by the employer who by reason of training, experience, or instruction has demonstrated the ability to safely perform all assigned duties and, when required, is properly licensed in accordance with federal, state, or local laws and regulations.
Qualified Rigger. A rigger who meets the criteria for a qualified person.
Reinforced Concrete. A composite material in which the concrete provides the material's compressive strength, while the reinforcing in the form of additional embedded material provides the tensile strength and/or ductility.
Reinforcing Ironworker. A worker primarily engaged in the hoisting, rigging, field fabrication, moving, and installation of reinforcing steel assemblies, members, post-tensioning cables, and related equipment. Reinforcing steel activities include, but are not limited to: off-loading and material handling of reinforcing components; fabrication, pre-assembly, and placement of reinforcing steel columns, beams, joists, mats, welded wire mesh, and curtain-walls; and the placement of post-tensioning cables.
Reinforcing Steel Assemblies. Vertical and horizontal columns, caissons, walls, drilled piers, mats, and other similar structures. For purposes of this standard, reinforcing steel includes rods, bars, or mesh made from composite and/or other materials.
Reshores. The temporary vertical supporting members that are placed or left in place when the original supporting shores or posts for the formwork are removed. The reshores are used to support partially cured concrete and other construction loads.
Slip Form. A form that is moved as concrete is placed and slides without being detached to form walls or other concrete structures.
Stressing Jacks. Portable hydraulic devices that pull the tendons associated with post-tensioning concrete to create a permanent tension load.
Tendon. A metal element, usually of steel such as wire, stranded components (such as wires), bars or rods used in pre-stressing or post-tensioning concrete.
(c) Site Access and Layout. The controlling contractor shall ensure that the following is provided and maintained:
(1) Adequate access roads into and through the site for the safe delivery and movement of derricks, cranes, trucks, other necessary equipment, the material to be erected, and the means and methods for pedestrian and vehicular control.
EXCEPTION: This requirement does not apply to roads outside of the construction site.
(2) Except where infeasible due to space constraints in dense metropolitan areas, a firm, properly graded, and drained area, that is readily accessible to the work with adequate space for the safe assembly, rigging, and storage of reinforcing and post-tensioning materials, and the safe operation of the reinforcing contractor's equipment.
(3) Adequate exterior platform for landing materials on the floors of multi-tiered buildings.
EXCEPTION 1: Where, the design, structure, or space constraint precludes the installation of exterior platforms.
EXCEPTION 2: Where the design of the structure allows for the safe landing of materials without the exterior platform.
(4) Adequate benching and/or shoring in accordance with the provisions of Sections 1541 and 1541.1 prior to the commencement of reinforcing operations in excavations and/or trenches.
(d) Written Notifications Prior to Commencement of and Immediately Following Reinforcing Steel Installation and Concrete Placement.
The controlling contractor shall ensure that the reinforcing steel contractor on the project is provided with the following written notifications at the times indicated:
(1) Prior to commencement of reinforcing steel installation, that formwork and falsework have been inspected and determined to meet the design requirements by a competent person of the installing formwork/falsework contractor as indicated in subsections (d)(2) and (3) below and immediately after the installation of reinforcing steel and placement of the concrete.
(2) Prior to commencement of reinforcing steel installation, that the vertical formwork, elevated decks, and other working/walking surfaces are structurally stable and remain adequately braced, guyed, or supported in accordance with Sections 1713 and 1717 to allow safe access of reinforcing ironworkers, materials, and equipment.
(3) Prior to commencement of reinforcing steel installation, that the benching and/or shoring for excavations have been inspected by a competent person.
(e) Stability Requirements for Vertical and Horizontal Columns, Walls, and Other Reinforcing Assemblies.
(1) Reinforcing steel for walls, piers, columns, prefabricated reinforcing steel assemblies, and similar vertical structures shall be guyed, braced, or supported to prevent collapse.
(2)(A) Systems for guying, bracing, or supports shall be designed by a qualified person.
(B) Guys, braces, and supports shall be installed and removed as directed by a competent person.
(3) Reinforcing steel shall not be used as a guy or brace.
(4) Wire mesh rolls shall be secured to prevent dangerous recoiling action.
(5) The controlling contractor shall prohibit other construction processes below or near the erection of reinforcement assemblies until they are adequately supported and/or secured to prevent structural collapse.
(6) The reinforcing steel contractor shall flag specific areas of the erection level for their work activity. The guying and/or bracing shall be in place before the release of the reinforcing assembly from the hoist rigging.
(f) Requirements for Impalement Protection and Custody of Protective Covers.
(1) Employees shall be protected from the hazards of working around or over exposed, projecting reinforcing steel or other similar projections in accordance with the provisions of Section 1712.
(2) When protective covers are provided by the reinforcing steel contractor, they shall remain in place after reinforcing steel activities have been completed to protect workers from other trades only if the controlling contractor or its authorized representative:
(A) Has directed the reinforcing steel contractor to leave the protective covers in place; and
(B) Has inspected and accepted control and responsibility for the protective covers; or
(C) Has placed control and responsibility for the protective covers on another contractor other than the reinforcing steel contractor.
NOTE: to subsection (f)(2)(A) through (C): The responsibilities of the controlling contractor related to accepting the control and custody of protective covers does not relieve the individual employer or subcontractor from protecting their employees from impalement hazards in accordance with the provisions of Section 1712(c).
(g) Requirements for Hoisting and Rigging Reinforcement Assemblies.
(1) A qualified rigger (a rigger who is also a qualified person) shall inspect the rigging prior to each shift and the handling of loads shall be in accordance with General Industry Safety Order, Section 4999.
(2) Routes for suspended loads shall be pre-planned to ensure that no employee is required to work directly below a suspended load except for:
(A) Employees engaged in the placing or initial connection of the reinforcement assemblies; and
(B) Employees necessary for the hooking or unhooking of the load.
(3) When working under suspended loads, the following criteria shall be met:
(A) Materials being hoisted shall be rigged to prevent unintentional displacement;
(B) Hooks with self-closing safety latches or their equivalent shall be used to prevent components from slipping out of the hook.
(4) All loads shall be rigged by a qualified rigger.
(5) All lifting devices below the hook such as spreader bars used for hoisting pre-assembled cages, walls, columns, beams and other structures shall be designed, load rated and fabricated under the direction of a California registered professional engineer.
(6) The controlling contractor shall prohibit all activities under or in the hazard area of hoisting operations, including unloading and staging areas for reinforcement assemblies.
(h) Post-tensioning Operations. The controlling contractor shall:
(1) Provide written documentation to the company performing the stressing operation that the minimum specified initial concrete compressive strength has been achieved prior to commencement of stressing operations.
(2) Ensure no employees (except those essential to the post-tensioning operations) shall be permitted to be behind the jack or the fixed end anchorage during tensioning operations. No employees shall be permitted above or alongside the full length of the tendons during tensioning operations.
(3) Ensure signs and barricades are erected to limit access into the stressing area only to personnel engaged in stressing or de-tensioning operations.
(4) Prohibit other construction trades from working in the barricaded area during stressing operations.
(5) Ensure there is an adequate safe work platform of a minimum of three feet measured from the end of the floor slab to the platform toeboard, such as an extension of the formwork, for stressing tendons, cutting tendon tails, and grouting where tensioning operations are above grade.
EXCEPTION: to subsection (h)(5): Where the adjoining structure or other structural space constraint precludes the installation of exterior platforms.
(A) The work platform required in subsection (h)(5) shall include guardrails and toeboards meeting the requirements of Section 1621, and shall be kept clear of any debris or materials not related to the stressing or de-tensioning operation.
(6) Ensure stressing equipment is secured to prevent accidental displacement during operation.
(7) Ensure stressing equipment calibrations per contract specifications shall be available on site. Prior to stressing, a competent person shall verify the adequacy of the stressing equipment calibrations.
(8) Ensure a competent person shall inspect the stressing equipment for damage or defects before stressing operations begin, and periodically during the stressing operations. The use of stressing equipment shall conform to the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations.
(9) Ensure methods shall be employed to insure that supporting forms, falsework or shoring does not fall due to cambering of the concrete during the stressing operations. Dead loads and construction loads (including those due to stressing) shall be considered in the design of the forms, falsework, and shoring.
(i) Fall Protection.
Employees shall not be permitted to place or tie reinforcing steel in walls, piers, columns, etc., more than 6 feet above an adjacent surface, unless a personal fall protection system is used in accordance with Section 1670 or other method affording equivalent protection from the hazard of falls from elevated surfaces.
EXCEPTION: Reinforcing ironworkers may travel point-to-point horizontally or vertically on reinforcing steel up to 24 feet above the surface below providing there are no impalement hazards.
(j) Formwork and falsework stability shall be provided in accordance with Sections 1713 and 1717.
(k) Training Requirements. In addition to the training requirements of Section 1509, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, employers shall ensure that each employee who performs reinforcing steel and/or post-tensioning activities has been provided training by a qualified person in the following areas for the activities in which they are engaged:
(1) The hazards associated with reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities; and
(2) The proper procedures and equipment to perform reinforcing steel and post-tensioning activities.
Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.
1. Renumbering from Section 1712 filed 11-1-73; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 73, No. 44).
2. New NOTE filed 6-21-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 25).
3. Repealer and new section filed 10-26-2017; operative 1-1-2018 (Register 2017, No. 43).

Go BackGo Back to Article 29 Table of Contents