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ABC Study Looks at Reducing Safety Risks

Friday, May 17, 2019

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The Associated Builders and Contractors organization recently released its ABC 2019 Safety Performance Report, which has found that companies that take proactive measures to prevent jobsite safety breaches can reduce their number of incidents by 85%.

The report is based on data from member contractors that used the association’s Safety Training Evaluation Process in 2018.

“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,” the report states.

Associated Builders and Contractors

The Associated Builders and Contractors organization recently released its ABC 2019 Safety Performance Report, which has found that companies that take proactive measures to prevent jobsite safety breaches can reduce their number of incidents by 85%.

“Each of the 35 data points collected is sorted using statistically valid methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey, and combined to produce analyses of STEP member performance against BLS industry average incident rates.”

The Report

The participants in the report come from three main industries, including 33% construction of buildings, 9% heavy and civil engineering construction and 58% specialty trade contractors.

The report notes that within these industries, safety performance is usually measured with “trailing indicators” such as the total recordable incidents rate (TRIT); days away, restricted or transferred (DART); and experience modification rate (EMR).

ABC’s STEP system, though, is comprised of 20 components or indicators that the organization says are proven to improve safety performance. This study identified eight leading indicators and looked at the impact they have on the trailing indicators. Those are:

  • Toolbox Safety Talks – (Brief, single-topic training sessions of 15 to 30 minutes held on the jobsite for all employees.) The less frequently this type of training is conducted and the fewer safety topics covered, the higher the trailing indicators, according to ABC. Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 85% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Substance Abuse Programs - Companies with substance abuse programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted are 60% safer than those without a program.
  • Safety Program Performance Review - A biannual review of safety program performance by executive leadership that evaluates whether the program is producing expected results and identifies opportunities for improvement leads to a 59% reduction in TRIR and a 60% reduction in DART rates.
  • Taking Action on Trailing Indicators - Training personnel to know the meaning and relevance of key safety rates and numbers such as EMR, TRIR and DART leads to a 57% reduction in TRIR and a 62% reduction in DART rates.
  • Employer Supervisory Safety Meetings - Conducting weekly safety meetings with supervisors and distributing minutes for review leads to a 56% reduction in TRIR and a 59% reduction in DART rates.
  • Use of Personal Protective Equipment - Having a written policy that is consistently and universally enforced, conducting an annual needs assessment and continually investing in new equipment leads to a 55% reduction in TRIR and DART rates.
  • Pre-Planning for Jobsite Safety - Integrating safety pre-planning into the estimating, bid and pre-mobilization phases of a project leads to a 53% reduction in TRIR and a 54% reduction in DART rates.
  • Safety Program Goal Setting - Implementing a formal process to annually assess safety program needs and establish safety goals leads to a 48% reduction in TRIR and a 50% reduction in DART rates.

In the STEP program, members score their level of achievement for each component on a weighted scale of 0 points (low) up to 12 points (high). Companies receive a recognition level of Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or Participant based on their score.

What the study concluded was that those members in the STEP Diamond category reduced their TRIR by 85%, Platinum members reduced theirs by 67% and average STEP members reduced theirs by 48%.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Associated Builders and Contractors; Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC); EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Health & Safety; Health and safety; Latin America; North America; Safety; Z-Continents

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