Avoiding hazards associated with reinforcing steel

Reinforcing steel can be used in many ways on a building site. Terms commonly used are rebars and mesh. They are steel bars or mesh wires used to strengthen walls, concrete, or other stone structures. 

Workers can fall on the protruding bars which can result in deep lacerations or even life-threatening injuries, so it’s important that preventive measures are in place to reduce the risks.

Some of the hazards include;

  • Rebars protruding in walking spaces
  • Concrete formwork bars protruding at low levels
  • Rebar scraps left unattended on the worksite
  • Workers not using appropriate safety equipment to reduce risks.

Here are some ways you can avoid rebar hazards:

Safety Caps
Safety caps are made of plastic so they are a cost-effective way of covering the protruding steel rods. Even though they are small, the safety caps effectively protect against injuries and potential impalement.

Their bright fluorescent colour increases visibility which lessens the chance of the worker walking into, or tripping over them by accident. They are also quick and easy to install.

Control access
In addition to using safety caps, access should be restricted to areas where there are protruding ends.

Injuries can happen when workers are not paying attention to the hazards around them, so ensure that your workers are aware of their surroundings, or physically prevent them from entering the area altogether by using barricades or tape to control access to those areas with hazards.

Keep a clean and tidy site
Ensure that you have a clean and tidy worksite. Gather and remove debris to keep the site free from scraps, and potential trip hazards.

Reinforcing steel scraps lying unattended can rust and pose a safety risk for workers, therefore, make sure you arrange prompt and proper disposal of the scrap materials.  

PPE for people working with reinforcing steel may include;

  • Hi-Vis clothing with long sleeves and pants
  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Suitable Steel cap boots
  • Gloves

Best Practices
Construction can be dangerous. There are hazards in all worksites, which can result in life-threatening injuries. Carry out regular site reviews using the HazardCo App to ensure that hazards presented by reinforcing steel are correctly controlled. 

Here are some best practices to follow, especially when working with reinforcing steel:

  • Educate all workers handling reinforcing steel about the possible hazards
  • Stay clear of the area when the rebars are hoisted
  • Protect the protruding ends of reinforcing steel with safety caps
  • Adequate lighting and signage should be present on the worksite
  • Restrict access to dangerous areas
  • Have a plan ready in case an injury occurs.

Of course, reach out to HazardCo and speak to one of our Health and Safety experts if you have any questions or need more support on avoiding reinforcing steel hazards.

Sign up for health and safety updates and advice
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Meeting your health and safety requirements shouldn’t be a chore. Instead, it should be an easy, functional and productive part of your day. With HazardCo, that is exactly what it becomes.

For a 7 day no obligation trial of HazardCo, just fill in your information and take control of your on-site Health & Safety.

By submitting you agree to our Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy.