ABC: Calling All Construction Companies That Want to be 600% Safer!

With the best practices outlined in the 2021 Safety Performance Report from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), construction companies can drastically improve their safety performance.

The 2021 Safety Performance Report is an annual assessment that furthers the construction industry’s understanding of how to achieve world-class safety. The companies highlighted in the report deploy ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. The report details the drastic impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%, making the best-performing companies more than six times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.

“Leading from a posture of safety and committing to a culture of safety create the conditions for all in the construction industry to complete their work without incident and go home safe and healthy every day,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “ABC’s Safety Performance Report creates a roadmap through empirical evidence to keep workers safe on the job, regardless of the size of the company or type of work. Implementing best practices built on the foundations of leading indicators, substance abuse programs, new hire safety orientation, toolbox talks and top management engagement creates a culture that embraces world-class safety.”

On May 27, it was announced that Sizemore was appointed by the U.S. Department of Labor to serve as a representative for U.S. construction employers on the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, which provides advice and assistance to the assistant secretary on occupational safety and health in construction standards. (We interviewed Sizemore for our Insight Report, Building Boldly: Construction Responds to New Safety and Regulatory Realities, which examines how the construction industry is embracing technology to reduce hazards and keep workers safe, an initiative supported by ABC’s Tech Alliance.)

The ABC 2021 Safety Performance Report identified the following best practices to lower Total Recordable Incident Rates and Days Away and Restricted or Transferred rates:

  • Tracking and reviewing activities carried out to prevent and control injury, such as safety training, new hire safety orientation and behavior-based safety observations, leads to a 64% reduction in TRIR and DART rates.
  • Companies that conduct an in-depth indoctrination of new employees into the safety culture, systems and processes based on a documented orientation process experience 52% lower TRIR and 54% lower DART rates than companies that limit their orientations to basic safety and health compliance topics.
  • Substance abuse programs and policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 59% reduction in TRIR and a 61% reduction in DART rates.
  • Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 76% and DART rates by 78% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 59% reduction in TRIR and DART.

The Safety Performance Report is based on data gathered from ABC member companies recording nearly one billion hours of work in construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades. It tracked 35 data points from companies that deployed STEP in 2020 to determine the correlation between leading indicator use and lagging indicator performance, which is measured by TRIR and DART incident rates. Each of the 35 data points was sorted using a statistically valid methodology developed by the BLS for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey, and then combined to produce analyses of STEP company performance against BLS industry average incident rates.

Read the full report at abc.org/spr.

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About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Global EHSQ Content Lead for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has provided the keynote address for occupational safety and health conferences.

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