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TheStreet Open House

Construction Safety Programs Are Yielding Business Benefits For Firms, According To New McGraw Hill Construction Report

Stocks in this article: MHFI

NEW YORK, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Contractors are reporting business benefits from instituting strong safety programs, according to a new report by McGraw Hill Construction on safety management in the construction industry, available at http://analyticsstore.construction.com/market-trends/smartmarket-reports/safety-management-in-the-construction-industry-smartmarket-report-2013.html?sourcekey=SMRPRES.

In particular, construction companies report the following benefits due to the implementation of safety management practices:

  • 51% report increases in project ROI; with a fifth of those reporting increases of greater than 5%
  • 43% report faster project schedules, with half reporting schedule improvements of a week or more
  • 39% report a decrease in project budget from a safety program, with a quarter reporting decreases of 5% or more. Only 15% reported that safety programs cost firms more—debunking the myth that safety has to negatively affect a firm's bottom line.
  • 82% report an improved reputation
  • 71% report lower injury rates
  • 66% report they have a greater ability to contract new work
  • 66% report better project quality

"Safety programs are not only creating safer places for their workers, but they are also improving firms' bottom lines," said Michele A. Russo , director of research communications, McGraw Hill Construction. "Overall, construction companies—large and small—are reporting positive financial impacts from safety programs—and the size of those benefits increase as the depth of the program increases. In an industry that operates on low margins, this is a powerful finding."

The study also found that 92% of large contractors (firms with over 500 employees) and 48% of smaller firms have instituted fully inclusive and widely observed safety programs, meaning that larger firms are capitalizing more on these business benefits as compared to smaller contractors and subcontractors.

"McGraw Hill's report confirms the importance of safety within our industry, and highlights the tangible gains that can be seen across any business," said Jim Dorris , vice president, health, safety, environment & sustainability, United Rentals, Inc. "United Rentals has found that investing in resources aimed at sustainable safety excellence not only creates a safer work environment, it also increases productivity, reduces costs, enhances the company's reputation, and grows the business." 

Firms are reporting that onsite safety training and education programs are currently most widely adopted (reported by 95% of firms) and considered most valued to jobsite workers (82% find it valuable). Online training programs are still an emerging trend, though the increase in mobile tools onsite will likely influence that.

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