5 ways to drastically increase safety on your job sites

By Jenny LescohierApril 30, 2021

Construction Safety Week is May 3-7, 2021

Want your people to be six times safer than the average construction company’s crew? Experts suggest five ways to do just that. 

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced the findings in its 2021 Safety Performance Report that 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.

Published to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 3-7, the annual report is an assessment intended to further the construction industry’s understanding of how to achieve world-class safety by deploying ABC’s STEP Safety Management System.

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 76% and DART rates by 78% compared to companies that hold them monthly.

5. Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 59% reduction in TRIR and DART.

“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.”

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.

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