Safety and Health Office

Reclamation Safety and Health Standards (RSHS)

As an agency, Reclamation has a responsibility to provide a safe and healthful working environment for all employees. Safety is a benefit to the individual, enhances productivity and quality in an organization, and provides positive results for the public taxpayer. The Bureau of Reclamation has long been actively engaged in the implementation of safety and health standards, and our future success depends, in part, on an aggressive commitment to the safety and occupational health program. Such commitment is integral to the Reclamation culture and is indicative of the pride we take in excellent performance.

 This revision of the RSHS supersedes previous versions. For construction and other contracts that require a safety clause, the RSHS version that was in effect when the contract was signed would govern, unless there is mutual agreement by the contracting parties to adopt this revised version. If there is a significant change that would affect the work being performed for a specific project, a modification may be explored with the contractor. Unbound printed copies of the RSHS are available for approximately $24 each. (Binders are extra.) Contact either Theresa Gallagher or Kathleen Ehler to order. Theresa and Kathleen can also provide printed errata packages.

 Although this written safety document is extremely important, it is but one aspect of a comprehensive Reclamation safety program. Supervisors and managers throughout Reclamation aggressively encourage safe behavior and enforce safety procedures in every job. It is essential that all of us demonstrate safety leadership and foster a safe, productive culture.

Please submit questions, comments, or recommendations for revision to Theresa Gallagher (

Section 22 – Excavation Operations (October 2009)

Section 23 – Tunnel and Shaft Construction (October 2009)

Section 24 – Blasting Operations (October 2009)

Section 25 – Concrete, Masonry Construction, and Formwork (October 2009)

Section 26 – Steel Erection (October 2009)

Section 27 – Reclamation Drilling Standards (October 2009)

Section 28 – Watercraft and Dredging (October 2009)

Section 29 – Marine and Diving Operations (October 2009)


Appendices A–L Contents

Appendix A – Job Hazard Analysis (October 2009)

Appendix B – Contractor Safety Program (October 2009)

Appendix C – Electrical Grounding (October 2009)

Appendix D – Wire Rope (October 2009)

Appendix E – Slings (October 2009)

         • New Table E22  (Added July 2014)

Appendix F – Record of Performance Inspection and Test—Crawler, Locomotive, Truck, and Wheel Cranes (October 2009)

Appendix G – Record of Performance Inspection and Brake Test—On-Highway Type Mobile Equipment (October 2009)

Appendix H – Record of Performance—Inspection and Brake Test—Off-Highway, Wheel-Type Construction Machines, Loaders, Dumpers, Scrapers, Graders, Tractor Water Wagons, and Similar-Type Machines (October 2009)

Appendix I – Cleanout Operations (October 2009)

Appendix J – Explosives (October 2009)

Appendix K – Glossary of Terms, Definitions, and Acronyms (October 2009)

Appendix L – Referenced Material (October 2009)

View superseded sections from 2009 standards.

Errata - RSHS 2001 Edition


Last Updated: 8/23/16