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CROSS Safety Report

Rebar cage temporary stability

Report ID: 374 Published: 1 October 2013 Region: CROSS-UK

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A reporter describes how on two occasions, on different sites, 6m high rebar cages collapsed under wind loads.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Having a competent temporary works designer/adviser in place to supply an engineered solution can ensure all temporary works, such as the stability of rebar cages, are carefully considered and planned

For civil and structural design engineers:

  • If there is a risk of temporary instability to rebar cages, noting this on the drawings and risk register can ensure these are addressed on site

Full Report

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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.


The reporter says that on two occasions, on different sites, 6m high rebar cages collapsed under wind loads. In both cases the rebar cages were propped but this had failed at the point where the cages were wired to the starter bars. These were regarded as temporary works failures and were accepted as such by the main contractor.

Subsequently the reporter's firm carried out an internal review and considered that there might be circumstances in which a note should be put on rebar drawings to warn of possible temporary instability problems. The reporter was uncertain whether this would be the right approach or whether it would imply that the designer had acknowledged a fault, and this might attract liabilities.

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