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ABC Safety Report: construction companies can be nearly 6 times safer than the industry average through best practices

WASHINGTON, April 30—Associated Builders and Contractors today announced the findings from its 2024 Safety Performance Report, an annual guide to construction jobsite health and safety best practices. The report is unveiled to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 6-10.

The annual safety report also provides a comprehensive understanding of the impact of deploying ABC’s STEP Safety Management System, which enables top-performing ABC members to achieve incident rates 576% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average. Established in 1989, STEP provides contractors and suppliers with a robust, no-cost framework for measuring safety data and benchmarking with peers in the industry.

“The tools in ABC’s safety report provide a roadmap to industry leaders to win and deliver their work to communities without incident through leadership commitment, cultural transformation and industry-leading results,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “Top-performing STEP members measuring leading and trailing indicators are nearly six times safer than the industry average, achieving an 83% reduction in total recordable incident rates.”

ABC’s research on more than 900 million work hours completed by participants in the construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades in 2023 identified the following foundations of industry-leading safety best practices:

  • Top management engagement: Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 54% reduction in total recordable incident rates, or TRIR, and a 52% reduction in days away, restricted or transferred rates, or DART rates.
  • Substance abuse prevention programs: Robust substance abuse prevention programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 47% reduction in TRIR and a 48% reduction in DART rates.
  • 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 45% lower than companies that limit their orientations to basic health and safety compliance topics.
  • Frequency of toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily, 15-to-30-minute toolbox talks reduce TRIR and DART rates by 81% compared to companies that hold them monthly.

“Both the 2024 ABC Safety Performance Report and ABC’s STEP Safety Management System will help any contractor or supplier on their safety journey,” said Sizemore. “If we choose to lead, if we choose to commit and if we choose to transform, together we will create the conditions for everyone to do their work without incident and go home safer, healthier, happier and fulfilled every day.”

“Achieving industry-leading health and safety in the construction industry is not just a goal, but a core value for ABC members,” said 2024 Chair of the ABC National Board of Directors Buddy Henley, president, Henley Construction Co. Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland. “Including health and safety in every action requires a commitment to excellence, a culture of accountability and a relentless pursuit of ensuring every worker returns home safely every day. STEP provides the platform for every company to measure, strengthen and build their safety culture. Committing to STEP is the first step to ensuring health and safety are deeply integrated into the decision-making processes of our industry.”

For seven years, ABC’s Safety Performance Report has captured the results of ABC STEP member companies performing real work on real projects to identify what comprises an industry-leading 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 jobsite incident rates.

The 2024 ABC Safety Performance Report is based on submissions of unique company data gathered from members that deployed during the 2023 STEP term, Jan. 15-Dec. 15. ABC collects 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 is sorted using statistically valid methodology developed by the BLS 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 industry-leading processes dramatically improves health and safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work.

The ABC 2024 Safety Performance Report is brought to you by DEWALT, a Stanley Black & Decker brand, celebrating 100 years in business by continuing to provide customers with total jobsite and landscaping solutions.

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

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