Washington-based Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has announced the findings in its 2021 Safety Performance Report, an annual assessment of how to achieve world-class safety by deploying its STEP Safety Management System.
Published to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 3-7, the annual report shows the impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85 percent.
“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,” says 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.”
The ABC 2021 Safety Performance Report identified the following best practices to lower total recordable incident rates (TRIR) and days away and restricted or transferred (DART) 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 percent 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 percent lower TRIR and 54 percent 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 percent reduction in TRIR and a 61 percent reduction in DART rates.
- Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 76 percent and DART rates by 78 percent compared with companies that hold them monthly.
- Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 59 percent reduction in TRIR and DART.
The Safety Performance Report is based on research gathered from ABC member companies recording nearly 1 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 methodology developed by the Bureal of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey, and then combined to produce analyses of STEP company performance against the BLS industry average incident rates.
Founded in 1989 as a safety benchmarking and improvement tool, STEP has evolved into a safety management system that demonstrates safety leadership and cultural transformation to clients. Participating ABC member firms measure their safety processes and policies on key components through a detailed questionnaire with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incidence. ABC says these processes improve safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work.