ABC Releases 2023 Guide to Construction Safety Best Practices

Construction safety

Unveiled to coincide with Construction Safety Week 2023, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has released its 2023 Safety Performance Report, an annual guide to safety best practices on construction job sites and comprehensive study of the impact of the STEP Safety Management System.

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

“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. “STEP participation can lower incident rates and create safer job sites so that employees can return home to families and loved ones every day. 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 (TRIR) and a 62% reduction in days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rates.
  • Toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce the 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. “STEP measures performance on key components, strengthens and expands best practices and builds safety culture. Our people are our greatest asset, and ABC will continue to advance world-class safety for our people through valuable resources like the Safety Performance Report.”

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 job site incident rates.

The 2023 ABC Safety Performance Report was based on submissions of unique company data gathered from members that deployed during the 2022 STEP term, January 15–December 15. ABC collected each company’s trailing indicator data as reported on its annual Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A (“Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses”) and its self-assessment of leading indicator practices from its STEP application. Each data point collected was sorted using a statistically valid methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey and then combined to produce analyses of STEP member performance against BLS industry average incident rates. The report demonstrates that applying world-class processes dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work.

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.

The ABC 2023 Safety Performance Report is brought to you by SafetyHQ, powered by Foundation Software, which is a comprehensive health and safety management application designed to help contractors better manage their health and safety programs.

Any company can participate in STEP. Visit abc.org/step to begin or continue your safety journey.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

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