Construction workers in Texas whose employers use the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Safety Performance Evaluation Process, also known as STEP, may be less likely to be injured on the job than those who work for employers who do not. ABC found that reportable safety incidents can be reduced by 85 percent and overall company safety may go up by as much as 670 percent when companies use STEP.
ABC identified several initiatives used by companies with better safety records. New hire orientation, substance abuse programs, establishing a site safety committee and toolbox talk were among the important elements of a safer workplace. STEP gives contractors tools to learn best practices and measure safety records. The association also identified both employee and C-Suite engagement as critical.
Unfortunately, some parts of the construction industry still have significant safety issues. According to a study by the Center for Construction Research and Training, between 2011 and 2015, there was a 33 percent increase in caught-in and caught-between injuries. The same period saw an overall increase in construction industry fatalities of 26 percent. Struck-by accidents resulted in the deaths of over 800 construction workers in that time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is still in charge of construction site safety. Construction companies are required to electronically report illnesses and injuries, but OSHA will avoid sensitive information when publishing the results.
Workplace accidents can happen in any industry, but construction workers are among the employees who are particularly vulnerable. Workers’ compensation may be particularly critical for these workers since the job involves physical labor and employees might need significant recovery time before they are able to return to work. Workers who are struggling to obtain compensation or file a claim or who have faced retaliation in the workplace after applying for benefits might want to consult an attorney.