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Organization says proactive measures improve construction safety

Construction workers in Missouri and nationwide face hazardous job conditions each day. However, a new report by the Associated Builders and Contractors, or ABC, says that following the organization's safety program can help construction companies become up to 670 percent safer than companies that don't follow the program.

ABC's program is called the Safety Performance Evaluation Process, or STEP. It uses leading indicators and proactive safety measures to make job sites safer for workers. These leading indicators include programs such as new-hire orientations, site-specific safety orientations, substance abuse programs, toolbox talks and near-miss/near-hit analysis. The organization also pushes companies to create on-site safety committees and include C-Suite engagement in their safety programs. ABC says that companies following STEP can cut their reportable safety incidents by up to 85 percent.

Safer worksites are needed in the construction industry. A recent report by the Center for Construction Research and Training found that overall construction fatalities spiked by 26 percent between 2011 and 2015. Of those fatalities, 67 percent were killed by falling materials. Meanwhile, caught-in and caught-between injuries increased by 33 percent over the same period. Those most likely to die in such incidents included ironworkers, workers under the age of 20 and older workers.

Most Missouri construction workers are eligible to file for workers compensation benefits if they are injured on the job. These benefits may help someone pay their medical bills and provide for their families while they are unable to work. Some workers choose to consult with an attorney before filing their claim to make sure it is properly prepared and all deadlines are met. If a worker's claim has been denied, an attorney may be able to review the case and file an appeal.

Source: Construction Dive, "ABC: Proactive measures can boost jobsite safety by 670%," Kim Slowey, March 23, 2018

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