There’s no denying that the construction industry is a dangerous one. Of the twenty-five most dangerous jobs in America, nine are in construction sub-specialties. (Roofers, site supervisors, equipment operators, and HVAC techs all made the list, as did other construction jobs.)
Now, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) has released a report on what contractors can do to keep workers safe on the job.
ABC put together its report by analyzing six key metrics at participating companies.
1. Substance Abuse
33% of all incidents on construction sites are drug- or alcohol-related. The report found that companies with substance abuse programs are 60% safer than companies that don’t have such a program.
2. New Hire Safety Orientation
Companies that conduct an in-depth and comprehensive orientation for new hires experience a nearly 50% lower incident rate than companies that limit their orientation only to basic safety and health compliance information.
3. Site-Specific Safety Orientation
Companies that conduct site-specific safety orientations reduce their Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away From Work/Days Of Restricted Activity (DART) by 50%.
4. Daily “Toolbox Talks”
Companies that conduct 15-30 minute training sessions on the job site for all employees reduce their TRIR and DART rates by 60% compared to companies that only hold such talks weekly.
5. Near-miss/Near-hit Analysis
Companies that track incidents that nearly caused an accident or injury lowered their TRIR and DART rates by about 60% compared to companies that don’t track these incidents.
6. Site Safety Committee
Companies that hold regular safety meetings between construction managers, site employees, vendors, and clients have about 25% fewer incidents.
Part of the Safety Committee initiative included holding frequent site inspections and corrections. This led to a further reduction in TRIR and DART rates of more than 60%.
More Work To Be Done
The ABC’s report comes at a critical time when construction injuries and fatalities are increasing.
For example: the number of fatal construction “caught-in” and “caught-between” injuries increased 33% from 2011 to 2015. And there were more trenching deaths in 2016 than there were in 2014 and 2015 combined.
Clearly, more work needs to be done to make sure construction workers stay safe and healthy while on the job. The recommendations in ABC’s report, though, are a good starting point.
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