5 qualities of the safest contractors


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Contractors who engage in five safety practices are six times safer than the industry average, according to a report by Associated Builders and Contractors, which coincides with Construction Safety Week from May 3-7. According to Greg Sizemore, ABC’s vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development, safer construction companies usually have: a strong drug policy with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted. Intensive qualification programs and new employment orientation clearly define policies and expectations. Toolbox conversations are frequent and regular, at the start of each shift and in some cases even when crews return from their lunch break to get everyone at work back at the point of contact to do their work safely. Leadership that practices safety from the top down, so that executives and on-site supervisors follow the same safety initiatives and protocols as front-line workers doing the day-to-day work. Protocols for measuring and using safety data from the job to continually raise the bar and focus on job site safety. ABC’s 2021 Safety Performance Report found that, on average, the recordable accident rate of all companies tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics decreased from 3.0 per 1,000 hours worked in 2019 to 2.7 in 2020. But among ABC’s top performers who are They establish these five companies identified in their workforce programs, the rate was only 0.41 in 2020, which is statistically stable compared to the 2019 rate of 0.37. Sizemore noted that while BLS recordable accident rates are lagging indicators – that is, they measure what actually happened – the five characteristics of safer construction companies are the leading indicators. In other words, companies that take these practices seriously are statistically more likely to have fewer accidents in the future. “If you only focus on these five things at the beginning, you will start to improve safety performance across your organization,” Sizemore said. As for the slight rise in recordable accidents among the safest contractors, Sizemore said that doesn’t actually reflect an increase in the number of accidents calculated. Instead, given that the number of work hours for many contractors was affected by the scheduling of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was likely a reflection of the same amount of accidents spread over fewer hours. “When we counted the number of accidents or accidents, we didn’t notice any difference in the amount,” Sizemore said. “It all depends on the number of working hours in the company.” The pandemic has also sharpened the industry’s ability to shut down and assess the measures it needs to work safely and then resume jobs while keeping workers out of harm’s way from physical, viral, or mental risks. “The opportunity comes because of adversity,” said Sizemore. “The epidemic has exposed us to the world of hygiene and what it really looks like in a construction project.” It has also led ABC and its contractor members to focus on workers’ mental health and total well-being, an initiative that is mirrored in leading companies that offer wellness programs for employees, an aspect highlighted by the additional stressors workers face during the pandemic. “We have adopted a holistic approach to human health, which marks the next frontier of worker safety in our industry,” said Sizemore. “This looks at the craftsman in the hard hat, goggles, high-visibility jacket, and steel-toed shoes and asks if this person is willing to do the work you are assigned to do for that day. You need to look at the heart and mind, as well as the physical ones.” “.


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