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How Contractors Can Be  7 Times Safer Than the Industry Average

How Contractors Can Be 7 Times Safer Than the Industry Average

May 3, 2023
Associated Builders and Contractors' new report says STEP Diamond members achieve an 85% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates.

In the newly released 2023 Safety Performance Report, from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the group studied the impact of the  STEP Safety Management System.

Established in 1989, STEP  provides the framework to measure, strengthen and build industry-leading safety programs that enable  ABC members to achieve incident rates 688% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average.

The annual study is unveiled to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 1-5.

“ABC’s safety report is the road map and how-to guide for contractors to achieve world-class safety and health,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development, said in a statement.

“STEP participation can lower incident rates and create safer job sites so that employees can return home to families and loved ones every day," Sizemore added." STEP Diamond members are nearly seven times safer than the industry average, achieving an 85% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates.”

ABC’s research on more than 850 million work hours completed by participants in the construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades in 2022 identified the following proactive injury and hazard elimination best practices:

  • New hire safety orientation: Companies that conduct an in-depth indoctrination of new employees into the safety culture, systems and processes based on a documented orientation process experience incident rates that are 48% to 52% lower than companies that limit their orientations to basic health and safety compliance topics.
  • Substance abuse prevention programs: Robust substance abuse prevention programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 59% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates and a 62% reduction in Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Rates.
  • Toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 78% and DART rates by 76% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Top management engagement: Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 54% reduction in TRIR and a 55% reduction in DART rates.

“Top-performing ABC STEP members actively build health and safety into their culture, creating industry-leading, holistic safety programs to protect their workers and deliver for their clients,” said Sizemore.

Since 2018, ABC’s Safety Performance Report has captured the results of ABC STEP member companies performing real work on real projects to identify what comprises a world-class safety program. ABC member firms participating in STEP measure their safety processes and policies on key components and the criteria for best practices through a detailed questionnaire, with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incident rates.

New in 2023, ABC added total human health as a key component of an effective safety program. Total human health raises the bar of keeping workers safe to acknowledge and address thoughts and preoccupying concerns that everyone experiences in daily life, incorporating:

  • A whole-person approach to engage a person’s body, mind, heart and soul.
  • Psychological safety that is respectful and inclusive of a diverse workforce.
  • Acknowledgement of the risk of distraction and impairment and responding with appropriate care.

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