Safety First! That’s been the culture in construction for most of my life, but as we all know, safety was not always the highest priority in decades past for our industry.
Back in the 70s, when OSHA, various trade associations, and — perhaps most importantly — the insurance carriers began cracking down on lax safety practices in construction, the pushback was epic. With already razor-thin profit margins, the additional direct and indirect costs of improving safety was a real threat to the businesses behind our built environment.
But people got over it, and now safety is taken seriously — well, at least a lot more seriously than it was a century ago.
Fast forward to present day and we can see that not only are our workplaces safer, but there is also a financial benefit to keeping workers safe. OHS Online reports the following:
Associated Builders and Contractors has released its 2017 Safety Performance Report, which reports that users of its Safety Training Evaluation Process, by using proactive safety practices, reduce recordable incidents by up to 87 percent — making the best-performing companies 770 percent safer than the industry average.
“ABC’s third annual report on the use of leading indicators, such as substance abuse programs and new hire safety orientations, confirms that high-performing ABC members have safer construction job sites,” said ABC President and CEO Michael Bellaman. “This is one of the few studies of commercial and industrial construction firms doing real work on real projects, and it shows that implementing best practices can produce world-class construction safety programs.”
Less job site accidents and injuries = more profit. It is that simple.
You can download a PDF version of the report for free at ABC’s website.