Construction Contractors Safety culture Construction

For construction contractors, higher safety investment means better bottom line: survey

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Photo: Cynthia Farmer/iStock/Thinkstock

New York – In the construction industry, contractors who invest more in worker safety achieve better bottom-line results than contractors who spend less on safety, according to the results of a recent survey.

More than 250 contractors participated in the survey, which was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the Center for Construction Research and Training and United Rentals.

Researchers measured contractors on 33 leading indicators to determine their place on the spectrum of safety culture. Thirty-two percent of contractors scored on the high end of the spectrum, 35 percent scored in the moderate level and 33 percent scored on the low end.

Contractors who scored higher on the safety culture spectrum reported greater business benefits from their safety investments than contractors who scored on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Improved project quality: 88 percent (high end) versus 56 percent (low end)
  • Improved staff retention: 79 percent (high end) versus 45 percent (low end)
  • Increased project return on investment: 75 percent (high end) versus 38 percent (low end)
  • Greater ability to attract new staff: 67 percent (high end) versus 27 percent (low end)

Researchers compared the results to those of a similar survey conducted in 2012 and found that more contractors are recognizing the role of jobsite workers in increasing project safety. Jobsite worker involvement scored as the most widely recognized aspect of a world-class safety program: 85 percent, an increase of 19 percentage points from the 2012 survey.

“The significance in the shift of how jobsite worker involvement is seen underscores our need to make safety value-driven and personal,” James A. Dorris, vice president – environmental, health & safety at United Rentals, said in a press release. “When workers are made a part of the process and are provided the tools and training they need to succeed, safety becomes recognized as the one thing that sets them – and the company they work for – apart from others. It’s what makes them world-class.”

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