Construction safety best practicesAssociated Builders and Contractors (ABC) announced on Apr. 30 the findings of its annual safety assessment in its 2021 Safety Performance Report, an annual assessment that enables the construction industry’s understanding of how to achieve safety by deploying its STEP Safety Management System.

Coinciding with Construction Safety Week, May 3-7, the annual report details the impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85 percent. Thus, the best-performing companies are more than six times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average, according to the report.

“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.

The ABC 2021 Safety Performance Report identified the following best practices to lower total recordable incident rates and days away in addition to restricted or transferred 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% 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% lower TRIR and 54% 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% reduction in TRIR and a 61% reduction in DART rates.
  • Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 76% and DART rates by 78% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 59% reduction in TRIR and DART.

“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,” added Sizemore.

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.

According to ABC, STEP was founded in 1989 as a safety benchmarking and improvement tool, and 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.

For more information about the report, visit