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‘Total human health’ now part of construction association’s best practices

Photo: Associated Builders and Contractors

Washington — A whole-person approach is a key component of an effective worker safety program, Associated Builders and Contractors says in its latest guide on safety best practices in the construction industry.

ABC, a national trade association representing the non-union construction industry, defines “total human health” in its 2023 Safety Performance Report. The report is based on 2022 data from companies that take part in ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. ABC collects each organization’s OSHA Form 300A data and “self-assessment of leading indicator practices” from its STEP application. 

In a March 28 press release, ABC says total human health incorporates:

  • A whole-person approach to engage a person’s body, mind, heart and soul.
  • Psychological safety that’s respectful and inclusive of a diverse workforce.
  • Acknowledgement of the risk of distraction and impairment, and responding with appropriate care.

The report details the “foundations of world-class safety,” based on more than 850 million work hours by STEP participants in construction, civil engineering and specialty trades, among other segments:
New-hire safety orientation: Companies that conduct an in-depth indoctrination of new employees into the safety culture, systems and processes based on a documented orientation process experience incident rates that are 48%-52% lower than those that limit their orientations to basic health and safety compliance topics.
Substance abuse prevention programs: Robust substance abuse prevention programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing, where permitted, lead to a 59% reduction in total recordable incident rates and a 62% reduction in days away, restricted or transferred rates.
Toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 78% and DART rates by 76% compared with those that do so on a monthly basis.
Top management engagement: Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 55% reduction in DART rates and a 54% reduction in TRIR.

“Top-performing ABC STEP members actively build health and safety into their culture, creating industry-leading, holistic safety programs to protect their workers and deliver for their clients,” Greg Sizemore, vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development at ABC, said in the release. “STEP measures performance on key components, strengthens and expands best practices, and builds safety culture. Our people are our greatest asset, and ABC will continue to advance world-class safety for our people through valuable resources like the ‘Safety Performance Report.’”

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