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ABC Calls for More Collaborative Safety Regulations

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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In a subcommittee hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Kwest Group President and Associated Builders and Contractors National Safety and Health Committee Chairman Ryan Odendahl, spoke to officials about safety in the industry.

During the “Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Economic Opportunity for Workers and Employers” hearing, in front of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee, Odendahl outlined his own firm’s successes in safety, and called for the federal government to work more with those in the industry to improve workplace safety.

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In a subcommittee hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Kwest Group President and Chairman of the Associated Builder and Contractors National Safety and Health Committee, Ryan Odendahl, spoke to officials about safety in the industry.

“My company and many employers in the construction industry work diligently to ensure the safety of our workforce, and I believe we share this concern with our federal agencies,” Odendahl told the committee.

“While we must enforce the law and ensure that bad actors are held accountable for their actions, it is my experience that our federal agencies are most effective when they collaborate with employers to focus on proven, data-driven and common-sense measures that support safe workplaces and effectively reduce the rates of injury, illness and fatalities. The welfare of our workforce is best preserved by promoting best practices and genuine leadership that establish a culture of safety in the workplace.”

Odendahl outlined statistics from his own firm, based out of Perrysburg, Ohio, noting that it has achieved “more than 2 million person-hours worked without a lost-time incident,” and noted that his firm follows a program that includes steps such as:

  • Extensive safety training required by all employees throughout the progression of their careers;
  • A standardized, pre-shift planning process used on every project, every day;
  • Safety performance monitoring of leading indicators in real time, using state-of-the-art software and technology; and
  • Incident investigation incorporating root cause analysis and corrective actions.

This, he noted, was in conjunction with participating in ABC’s Safety Training Evaluation Process, which allows members to measure their safety processes and policies.

The best-performing STEP participants have workplaces 670 percent safer than the industry average, the ABC notes, with an 85 percent reduction in total recordable incident rates.

“Leaders in our industry are striving to drive a culture of accident prevention,” he said. “I believe that all accidents are preventable, and the right leadership and culture that invests in employee safety education and engagement will lead to safer projects, increased economic output, and success in our industry.”

Odendahl also suggested that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration provide more compliance assistance and display more frequently asked questions to help companies in relation to rules and regulations.

“The construction industry continues to see the benefits that have come from a common-sense regulatory agenda and pro-growth tax policies that have allowed us to hire and train more workers and reinvest in our businesses and communities,” Odendahl said.


Tagged categories: Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC); Good Technical Practice; Government; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Regulations; Safety

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