Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Safety Performance Report is an annual study of the impact of their Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) on employee safety in the construction industry.
The report measures the correlation between the implementation of safety measures on jobsites, or leading indicators, and the overall number of incidents or accidents, or trailing indicators. ABC’s research encompasses more than a billion total hours of work by members that deployed STEP leading indicators in the construction, civil engineering, and specialty trade industries.
Effective safety measures and best practices
In short summary, ABC found that workers in STEP-member organizations were over 600% safer than the industry average, their total recordable incident rate (TRIR) reducing by 84%. They highlighted the following safety measures as effective best practices in keeping construction employees safe:
Construction work is constantly evolving and shifting, from macro changes in industry practices and technology to the daily shifts in jobsites and workflows. Having daily training on safety topics and best practices – as simple as single-topic, 15-30 minute sessions – has been shown to reduce TRIR and days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rates by almost 80% when compared to holding them monthly.
Substance abuse programs
When one-third of total jobsite incidents are related to drug or alcohol use, having robust preventative and support programs is critical in keeping employees safe and healthy. ABC’s Report found that in 2021, the implementation of substance abuse prevention programs, with policies for drug and alcohol testing, led to a 70% decrease in TRIR and 74% decrease in DART.
Top management engagement
Overall safety goes beyond the jobsite. High-level employer involvement in safety programs were shown to reduce TRIR and DART rates by more than 70%. Owners and CEOs of high-scoring STEP organizations were proactive in employee safety through actively participating in safety programs and regularly tracking safety goals and objectives, as well as investing time and resources into jobsite safety and employee health.
New hire safety orientation
Creating and maintaining a company culture around safety and well-being is one of the first steps when welcoming new hires to the team. This includes introducing workplace safety policies and procedures, protective gear demonstrations, and mentoring, among other highly effective but easy-to-execute practices. Companies that took this first step to employee safety were found to have 70-72% lower incident rates.
Core leading indicators for sustainable safety programs
Leading indicators are processes that organizations can use to identify hazards and lower or eliminate the risk of on-site injury. In their report, ABC focused on five core leading indicators that have dramatically increased safety performance in construction:
Empowering employees to take charge in their safety and well-being has proved to be an effective way of lowering incident rates, lowering TRIR by 70% and DART rates by 71%. These steps include providing teams with safety resources and training, fulfilling staffing needs, facilitating engagement, and actively promoting participation in safety programs.
Supervisor safety meetings
Supervisors in high-performing STEP organizations were active participants in their team’s safety through: holding meetings with status reports regarding jobsite safety; reviewing potential opportunities and highlighting improvements made; and conducting in-depth case reviews of serious incidents. Holding weekly meetings with supervisors to discuss and review team safety measures was seen to reduce TRIR and DART rates by over 70% each.
Pre-planning for Project Safety
Prepping for project safety with supervisors and key personnel reduced TRIR and DART rates by 73%. Pre-planning includes processes to identify and reduce potential barriers for safety, such as: integrating safety measures into all stages of projects, using a checklist for comprehensive evaluation, regular status reports and updates, and early communication to site employees and contractors.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Implementing and enforcing PPE policies were shown to reduce TRIR and DART rates by 65-66%. Reviewing PPE needs and regularly investing in new, effective equipment is an integral part of overall safety. Organizations can continue reducing incident rates by evaluating the sustainability and effectiveness of equipment for field personnel, educating employees on PPE requirements and use for every project, and conducting annual refreshers and demonstrations to ensure on-going safety.
Firms should have visibility over all potential and occurring incidents, and all teams should be playing an active role in overall safety. Systemizing processes to identify problems and find effective solutions is shown to reduce TRIR and DART by 74%. These processes can be as simple as consistent incident documentation or as robust as comprehensive training for top management and supervisors on incident investigation and prompt reporting.
Looking forward in construction safety
ABC’s Safety Performance Report identified actionable processes that any organization can implement to reduce incident rates and increase their workers’ safety and health in jobsites and the workplace. Investing in these processes is an important step not just in keeping employees safe, but to ensure the overall well-being of an organization. And it can be as simple as holding regular training sessions or increasing documentation, as well as investing in jobsite monitoring.
Jobsite monitoring is a powerful tool not just for visibility over projects, but also for documenting potential incidents and ensuring worker safety. In an industry where visibility and documentation are increasingly critical, investing in construction cameras is a simple but effective step to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of your teams and organization. TrueLook offers a range of construction cameras to tailor-fit any and all project needs, as well as a comprehensive platform for storing and managing to keep documentation easy and painless. We understand that safety is a number-one priority for your team, and our cameras and management software are the next step to ensuring your organization covers all of its bases. Schedule a free demo today or download our free buyer’s guide to see how we can help keep your employees safe.