Between 1989 and 2001, the companies that are members of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) reduced their recordable incident rate (RIR) from 7.19 to1.90 and their lost-workday case incident rate (LWCIR) from 1.02 to 0.23.

How were these results achieved?

In 1993, the CII investigated what its members were doing to control safety and health incidents on construction jobsites. Already, at that point, significant progress (since 1989) in reducing rates was evident. The investigation identified and highlighted five high impact techniques.

  1. Pre-project and pre-task planning for safety
  2. Safety orientation and training
  3. Written safety incentive programs
  4. Alcohol and substance abuse programs
  5. Accident and incident investigations

In 2001, the CII surveyed the top 400 construction firms as identified by ENR magazine (106 responded) and followed-up with in-depth interviews on 38 construction projects, each valued at $50 – 600 million. Substantial progress in further reducing incident rates (since 1993) was apparent. The study identified and promoted nine industry best practices.

  1. Demonstrated management commitment
  2. Staffing
  3. Safety planning – pre-project and pre-task
  4. Safety training and education
  5. Worker involvement and participation
  6. Recognition and rewards
  7. Subcontractor management
  8. Accident and incident reporting and investigation
  9. Drug and alcohol testing

“The additions to the 2001 list,” says National Erectors Association Director of Safety and Health Wayne Rice, “reflect philosophical change over the last decade or so. The items on the 1993 list are fairly simple and direct whereas those on the second list show the need for top-down commitment and safety staffing to make the push toward zero accidents.”

[Steve Clark]