ABC Keystone Safety Blog

By Kevin Keith, ABC Keystone Director of Safety Services


ABC and its member companies work daily to build a construction workforce that is diverse, safe, skilled and productive. A foundational pillar of ABC’s very existence is safety. A culture of both physical and mental health and safety cannot exist without leadership taking a stand that includes an unwillingness to compromise safety and modeling this belief in their every action. Challenging and transforming the status quo to create a belief that all incidents are preventable creates a culture where safety is considered a moral obligation not just for leadership, but for all employees.

ABC strives to provide all members with the knowledge and tools to achieve world-class health, safety, and wellness. One of these tools is the STEP Safety Management System.

What is STEP?
Founded in 1989 as a safety benchmarking and improvement tool, STEP has evolved into a world-class safety management system that dramatically improves safety performance among participants, regardless of company size or type of work. The top-performing STEP members are more than six times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average.

Participating ABC member firms measure their safety processes and policies on key components through a detailed questionnaire, with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incident rates. Companies receive a rating of Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or Participant based on their safety performance. STEP members prove that world-class safety is achievable with a companywide commitment to safety as a core value.

How do you apply for STEP?
Applying is quick and easy. Go to and click on Contractor Fillable PDF Application. You’ll need to have ready your company-specific information listed in the application and your 2021 OSHA Form 300A. Then press the start button. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the application online when you have the information in front of you.

Why apply for STEP?
Every ABC member wants to send its workers home safely every night. Take the first step toward achieving world-class safety by participating in the STEP Safety Management System, whether you are beginning your safety journey or continuing to strengthen your performance.

Participating in STEP at any performance level is free. When you implement the key components, your safety performance improves. As an added benefit, driving down your injury rate can help lower your workers’ compensation insurance rates. Recognized by the industry, specifically CURT, and used as a prequalification tool by general contractors, STEP can streamline the bidding process. You did the work; now get the recognition your team deserves.

How does the STEP Safety Management System help smaller contractors?
When your safety director is really an HR coordinator with safety as a collateral duty, the key components of the STEP Safety Management System provide the framework for a proven, effective safety program that you can implement right away. Use the key components to engage top leadership in identifying gaps and developing a plan to improve performance. Then apply for STEP and see how you perform when compared to the best of the best. Do this annually and you’ll see year-over-year improvement in your safety performance.

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