ABC Report: Safety Best Practices Can Make Construction Companies 827% Safer

Associated Builders and Contractors today released its 2020 Safety Performance Report, an annual assessment that furthers the construction industry’s understanding of how to achieve world-class safety through its STEP Safety Management System. Published in conjunction with National Safety Month, the report documents the dramatic impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 88%, making the best-performing companies 827% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.

“Based on real contractors doing real work, ABC’s annual Safety Performance Report outlines how safety best practices and performance measurement can drastically improve jobsite safety,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “During unprecedented circumstances such as the COVID-19 outbreak or when it’s business as usual, and no matter the size of the company or scope of work, the information and tools in this report will help contractors create the conditions that help ensure our workers go home safe and healthy every day.”

Among the findings:

  • Tracking and reviewing activities carried out to prevent and control injury, such as safety training, new hire safety orientation and behavior-based safety observations, leads to a 70% reduction in TRIR and a 71% reduction in DART rates.
  • Companies that conduct daily toolbox safety meetings reduce TRIR by 82% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Having a written personal protection equipment policy that is consistently and universally enforced, conducting an annual needs assessment and continually investing in new equipment leads to a 62% reduction in TRIR and a 65% reduction in DART rates.
  • A new leading indicator for 2019, a comprehensive emergency response/fire elimination plan that tiered contractors are contractually bound to follow leads to a 61% reduction in TRIR and DART rates.
  • One-third of all incidents on construction jobsites are drug- or alcohol-related. Robust substance abuse programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 66% reduction in TRIR and a 67% reduction in DART rates.

The Safety Performance Report is based on data gathered from ABC member companies recording nearly one billion hours of work in construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades. It tracked 35 data points from companies that deployed STEP in 2019 to determine the correlation between leading indicator use and lagging indicator performance, which is measured by the Total Recordable Incident Rate and Days Away and Restricted or Transferred rate. Each of the data points was sorted using a statistically valid methodology developed by the BLS for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey, and then combined to produce analyses of STEP company performance against BLS industry average incident rates.

Founded in 1989 as a safety benchmarking and improvement tool, STEP has evolved into a world-class safety management system that demonstrates safety leadership and cultural transformation to clients. Participating ABC member firms measure their safety processes and policies on 24 key components through a detailed questionnaire with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incidence. Applying world-class processes dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work.

June is National Safety Month, a national initiative to promote workplace safety best practices, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the report at

Safety Data Sheets

Greetings, Cornhusker Chapter! 

This week we discuss the topic of Safety Data Sheets or SDS.  More often than not, SDS are a topic surrounding compliance with OSHA regulations, but when we handle chemicals, there may be a need for additional information to do it safely.  

SDS, if read and followed, are a powerful means of controlling chemical exposures.  Chemical manufacturers write SDS for the chemicals they produce or import. The SDS purpose is to communicate information on the recommended safe use and handling procedures for that chemical.

There are 16 different sections of an SDS, anything you would conceivably need to know about a particular chemical can be found here.  The two sections that you may want to remember for referencing in the future are Sections 4 and 8.  These are the sections that you will reference if you ever have a spill or a personal exposure.

Categories – As a quick reference, here are all the listed categories of an SDS sheet.  Scan over them to familiarize yourself with the information that can be found on an SDS.  At this time, you might want to discuss where on the job site your SDS are located. 

•Section 1 – Identification:  Product identifier, manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number, emergency phone number, recommended use, and restrictions on use.

•Section 2 – Hazard(s) identification:  All hazards regarding the chemical and required label elements.

•Section 3 – Composition/Information on ingredients:  Information on chemical ingredients and trade secret claims.

•Section 4 – First aid measures:  Required first aid treatment for exposure to a chemical and the symptoms (immediate or delayed) of exposure.

•Section 5 – Firefighting measures:  The techniques and equipment recommended for extinguishing a fire involving the chemicals and hazards that may be created during combustion.

•Section 6 – Accidental release measures:  Steps to take in the event of a spill or release involving the chemical.  Which includes emergency procedures, protective equipment, and proper methods of containment and cleanup.

•Section 7 – Handling and storage:  Precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

•Section 8 – Exposure controls/Personal protection:  OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs), threshold limit values (TLVs), appropriate engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

•Section 9 – Physical and chemical properties:  The chemical’s characteristics.

•Section 10 – Stability and reactivity:  Chemical stability and possible hazardous reactions.

•Section 11 – Toxicological information:  Routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or absorption contact), symptoms, acute and chronic effects, and numerical measures of toxicity.

•Section 12 – Ecological information:  How the chemical might affect the environment and the duration of the effect.

•Section 13 – Disposal considerations:  Describes safe handling of wastes and disposal methods, including the disposal of any contaminated packaging.

•Section 14 – Transportation information:  Includes packing, marking, and labeling requirements for hazardous chemical shipments.

•Section 15 – Regulatory information:  Indicates regulations that apply to chemicals.

•Section 16 – Other information:  Includes the date of preparation or last revision.

Your employer is being required to assemble and provide unhindered access to an SDS collection for all of the chemicals found in your work area.  Know where this SDS collection is located.  Read and follow the SDS recommendations. 

Good luck out there, Cornhusker Chapter, and stay safe!

Have you started your STEP application yet???

Deadline for Recognition at EIC is July 3rd


Click here and get the 2020 application started!

2019 STEP Award Winners

  • Anderson Bros. Elec., Plg., & Htg., Inc.
  • Bay Construction Company, Inc.
  • Cheever Construction Company
  • DaKO Services, LLC
  • Electronic Contracting Company
  • Elkhorn West Construction, Inc.
  • General Excavating
  • Gethmann Construction Co., Inc.
  • HACO Electric Co., Inc.
  • IES Commercial, Inc.
  • Interstates
  • Johnson Drywall Co., Inc.
  • Lueder Construction Company
  • Lund-Ross Constructors, Inc.
  • McCoy Construction, LLC
  • Midlands Mechanical, Inc.
  • NGC Group Inc.
  • Omaha Door & Window Co., Inc.
  • Overland Constructors, Inc.
  • Sampson Construction Co., Inc
  • Sentry Electric, Inc.
  • Signature Electric - D & J, LLC
  • Watts Electric Company
  • Willmar Electric Service
  • Wolfe Electric Co., Inc.


Concerns with glasses fogging up while wearing masks…A couple of resources for anti-fog products



Labor Shortages Require Recruitment: Early Outreach Can Have Significant Impacts

From Construction Executive

To better address construction industry labor shortages, companies have identified a need to build better recruiting programs, aimed at targeting the younger generations. Given the industry’s aging workforce, the importance of recruiting and retaining the next generation of construction workers is extremely critical—without them, shortages will only continue to grow.

One key to garnering interest in the industry is creating leadership programs and community partnerships with high schools and colleges that can provide students with internships, mentorships and job shadowing opportunities. In developing early relationships, students can learn about construction work firsthand from industry members, building professional relationships. Construction companies can also benefit, as they have the opportunity to train qualified workers and identify candidates for future positions. Recruitment programs help to create a more positive perception of the construction industry, showing students that construction can offer a career path with longevity and good pay, where people can work with their hands and have the satisfaction of completing a project.

Callahan Construction Managers (Callahan) recognizes the importance of building towards the future and has implemented a community outreach program that creates partnerships with local vocational high schools and colleges, giving students the opportunity to participate in job shadowing and onsite tours for hands-on learning experiences. Students not only learn about day-to-day operations of the construction industry, but the program also helps them to connect their academic frameworks to the real world. Students experience the various stages and phases of construction first-hand over the course of the school year.

Construction site visits provide students with an introduction and general overview of the project they are visiting, as well as a lesson about the various scopes of work occurring onsite by subcontractors. Students also receive a safety briefing and general training from a safety officer, teaching them the importance of safety culture on a construction site. It is a chance to learn about career options in safety in the industry.

Callahan also hosts a Women in the Trades Summit with Quincy High School Career and Technical Education. The half-day summit provides an opportunity for female students enrolled in non-traditional career programs, their teachers, and guidance counselors to learn first-hand about opportunities for women in the skilled trades, along with personal insights from women actively working in these fields.

Through a partnership with Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), students from WIT’s Construction Management Club toured the Hilton Garden Inn construction site located in Brookline, Massachusetts. During the visit, students were provided with an overview of the project and details of its unique challenges. Students were then guided through an intimate tour of the construction site.

The tour was co-led by a WIT construction management student, who is currently a co-op on the project.

The students witnessed crews installing elevators and drywall and pouring concrete stairs. Students also learned how Callahan is using technology to complete the project. Project officials explained how the 3D coordination model is being used and integrated with other building systems.

“Callahan is committed to providing educational opportunities for students in the trades,” says Patrick Callahan, president of Callahan Construction Managers. “These students are the future of our industry, and it’s important we provide learning opportunities as construction continues to see major labor shortages. We hope our tours inspire students interested in construction management.”

Expanding recruiting efforts is vital for reaching prospective students. Career fairs and social media are a few other tools that can aid in getting the word out that construction can be a lucrative career. The earlier companies can engage students in the industry, the easier it will be to incorporate students into the workforce. Competitive benefits and pay, a strong safety culture, and clear opportunities for advancement are other great ways to attract talent.

If construction companies are to succeed, they need to be vigilant in seeking out and recruiting top, future talent. Investing in the communities where they work and focusing on the next generation is critical for the future of the industry.


Please continue to monitor ABC National's Preparedness Recovery Resources site Listed Below

Keep checking for new resources, which are being uploaded as soon as they become available.


Upcoming Safety Classes


·        First Aid/CPR/AED: July 14th 7:30 am -12:30 pm

·        OSHA 10: October 7th-8th 7:30 am -12:30 pm

·        OSHA 30: TBD


 OSHA 10: October 21st-22nd 7:30 am -12:30 pm


To sign up click here, visit us at or call (402) 477-4451

 ABC scheduled safety classes through July 1st are canceled. If your company has scheduled a safety class, we will accommodate those classes based upon the scheduling company's  policy.