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CROSS Safety Report

Missing rebar identified prior to concrete slab pour

Report ID: 310 Published: 1 January 2013 Region: CROSS-UK

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A reporter describes how they often encounter issues such as missing reinforcement while carrying out pre-pour inspections.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Quality control and competent supervision on site can help to ensure that the structure is built in accordance with the design

  • Effective communication of essential design information in an accessible form to tradespeople working on site can also ensure the works are in accordance with the design intent

For civil and structural design engineers:

  • If possible, attend site to inspect pre-pour reinforcement installation, particularly for safety critical elements such as transfer slabs

  • If you are unable to attend site, ask the contractor for site photos of the installation of critical structural elements

Full Report

Find out more about the Full Report

The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


One project run by a reporter involved the quality assurance (QA) assessment of a large concrete contractor's fixing team before a slab is poured. The reporter was contacted with two days’ notice to attend a site and inspect the as installed rebar. This sometimes can only be 30 minutes ahead of the pour.

Generally, the issues are workmanship (cover, edge distance, laps etc) and a clean and tidy site. But on two projects there have been whole bar marks worth of bars missing. In the first it was a top mat section of approximately 15 bars of H16's. In the second project a number of bottom mat bar marks were missing or incorrect, which took a keen eye to spot, as one bar mark was installed as 12's not 16's.

The areas are meant to be handed over by the fixers and ready to pour, in the first case there were a number of further checks to be carried out by the building inspector and site engineers, but in the second case inspections had been carried out and the omission was not spotted.

In both cases the bar marks were local variations to the otherwise standard mat (say H12's @ 200ctrs both ways with a local bar mark of H16's one way in between). This obviously highlights the role of checking site installation.

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