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Widely Observed Safety Programs Used At Large Contracting Firms But Smaller Firms Lag, According To McGraw-Hill Construction Study

NEW YORK, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Contractors are reporting high use of safety practices, but fully-inclusive programs are not yet taking place in smaller firms, according to a new study by McGraw-Hill Construction on safety management in the construction industry.

Ninety-two percent of firms with over 500 employees report having fully inclusive and widely observed safety programs, but smaller firms lag with nearly half, 48%, reporting the same. However, individual safety practices are widely adopted across the industry demonstrating an awareness of the importance of safety programs — 60% of contractors report that they use eight of 15 practices included in the survey. The most widely used practices demonstrate the value construction firms place on bringing safety practices directly to jobsites:

  • Including jobsite workers in the safety practice (80%)
  • Analyzing potential site safety hazards before construction begins (78%)

"These results show the industry is concerned about safety and making clear strides to help manage it, but owners need to help drive smaller firms to incorporate the same level of holistic investment that larger firms are currently able to make," says Harvey Bernstein, vice president of Industry Insights and Alliances with McGraw-Hill Construction. "Our study results reveal that the industry knows what to do; it just needs the tools and incentives to do so."

In fact, the industry reports that business factors, such as insurance costs (78%) and liability concerns (77%) play a strong role in contractors' decisions to invest in safety practices. And 78% of the industry believes that reduced insurance rates due to better safety records will drive wider adoption of safety management practices in the future. With business factors having such a strong influence, many players in the construction industry beyond contractors can clearly impact the goal of making the construction sector safer.

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