Report proves safety spike effect on best practices-driven contractors

Sources: Associated Builders & Contractors, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The ABC 2018 Safety Performance Report, aimed at furthering the construction industry’s understanding of how to improve jobsites through the group’s Safety Performance Evaluation Process (STEP), documents the dramatic impact of using proactive practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85 percent—making the best-performing companies 670 percent safer than the industry average.

“ABC’s fourth annual report on the use of leading indicators, such as substance abuse programs and new hire safety orientations, confirms that high-performing ABC members have safer construction jobsites,” says Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “This is one of the few studies of commercial and industrial construction firms doing real work on real projects, and it shows that implementing best practices can produce world-class construction safety programs.”

The Safety Performance Report is based on data gathered from ABC member companies recording more than one billion hours of work in construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades. It tracks 35 points from ABC’s 2017 STEP participants to determine the correlation between implementing leading indicator use and lagging indicator performance, which is measured by the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away and Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate. Among report findings:

• Contractors attaining the highest level of STEP participation reduced their TRIR by 85 percent compared to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of three injuries/fatalities per 100 full-time employees.
• STEP participants with a robust substance abuse program/policy in place dramatically outperformed those with a weaker program, reducing their TRIR by 63 percent.
• Conducting a new hire safety orientation lasting more than 200 minutes reduced TRIR by 85 percent compared to the BLS industry average.
• Companies that held site-specific safety orientations reduced their TRIR by one-half.
• Holding daily toolbox talks (brief, single-topic training sessions conducted on the jobsite for all employees) reduced TRIR by 62 percent versus holding them weekly.