The Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) recently released their 2019 Safety Performance Report boasting a drastic reduction in the number of OSHA recordable incidents for companies involved in their ABC STEP program. The average company involved in this program showed nearly a 200% safer Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) than the industry average while companies recognized as a Diamond participant showed a nearly 680% safer TRIR. What attributed to such a drastic shift for companies involved in the STEP program? ABC says a commitment from leadership, a shift in company culture from the beginning and acting on eight core leading indicators are the leading factors.
High Scoring companies in the STEP Program with engagement from c-suite management showed over a 60% decrease in the TRIR and DART (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred) rate compared to those with no engagement from upper management. The same type of reduction (over 50%) was shown when companies committed to a safety culture, including an in-depth new hire orientation that introduced the company’s values, expectations and procedures. The eight core leading indicators contributing to the rate reductions included toolbox talks, substance abuse programs, performance reviews, action on indicators, safety meetings, PPE requirements, safety pre-planning and goal setting. Each one of these indicators being implemented into the company culture showed decreases between 50%-60% of the company’s TRIR and DART rates. If these steps being implemented can have such a huge impact on company safety records, why isn’t everyone doing it?
The simplest answer is time and money. Many companies are either unwilling or unable to provide these types of changes to their company culture. The 2018 Training Survey conducted by Safety+Health showed that 70% of companies spent less than $500 per individual on safety training. Of all companies surveyed nearly 1 in 4 spend less than $5,000 for safety training for their entire company. When asked of the five hardest challenges regarding safety training, two of the top answers were “Finding Time to Train Workers” and “Lack of Support From Leadership”. While many of these companies struggle with changing the culture from the top down, almost all agree that safety training should be conducted to help reduce injuries and illnesses. It may be difficult to change a company’s culture overnight but implementing change to a safety-oriented culture must start somewhere. With three people being fatally injured during every workday, the construction industry must strive for the goal of zero accidents.
While STAC may not be able to change the mindset from the c-suite management, we can help change some of the core leading indicators to impact safety performance. Whether it’s helping collect toolbox talks, storing substance abuse programs, or tracking indicators and incidents for review, STAC is dedicated to providing service with the peace of mind and affordability for companies of varying sizes. We provide real time access to information helping those already pressed for time focus on keeping their people safe while changing the culture in which they work. Committing to compliance could change lives, while committing to safety within your culture will save them.