Q.: Safety inspectors told us that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration now prohibits the use of plastic mushroom caps for protecting workers from impalement on projecting rebar.

They said troughs that cover a whole row of projecting rebar will meet OSHA's test criteria of a 250-pound weight dropped from a distance of 10 feet without rebar breakthrough. Where can we purchase these troughs?

A.: We know of four sources for plastic models of this device, and there may be others. The manufacturers' literature should tell you whether the models meet OSHA test criteria.

  • Aztec Concrete Accessories Inc. P.O. Box 820 Bloomington, CA 92316 (800-531-3355)
  • Deslauriers Inc. P.O. Box 189 Bellwood, IL 60104 (800-743-4106)
  • Norseman Plastics 2296 Kenmore Ave. Buffalo, NY 14207 (800-267-4391)
  • Paragon Products P.O. Box 860 Mount Pleasant, IA 52641 (800-776-0385)

We couldn't find a commercial source for wooden troughs, but did learn that you can make your own by nailing together three 2x4s or by routing a continuous slot in the edge of a 2x4. Check with your OSHA compliance officer to make sure any homemade wooden troughs meet OSHA requirements.