By: Kenneth D. Schwebel, 2018 Chair of the Board; President, The Witmer Group

I recently had the honor of presenting awards to those companies that demonstrate the very best in construction safety. Having a safe workplace should be part of everyone’s core values. Our industry is often associated with high risk environments; it is our job to insure that those risks are mitigated so that all may go home to their families each and every night.

ABC (both Keystone and National) has put extra emphasis on elevating our safety programs. There are numerous resources that are readily available to help member firms achieve excellence in safety. One of the resources available to our members is called “The STEP Program.” The STEP (Safety Training and Evaluation Process) has had a huge impact on helping to enhance the safety culture in the construction industry across the country. Not only does STEP help identify areas of improvement for member firms, it also provides data to proactively enhance safety best practices throughout our industry.

With a variety of tools and resources, our goal is for all our contractor members to use the STEP program as an improvement tool for achieving world class safety performance. The mission is to take this current state and “step it up” to reduce accidents, illnesses and help improve the overall safety culture. By analyzing the safety needs of the business, STEP has shown to help reduce a company’s recordable incidents by 85% of our industry average. This industry leading standard maintained by STEP participants is what helps make ABC stand apart from the others. It is important for all ABC contactor members to participate and lead in the safety solutions.

ABC’s Commitment to the Most Recent Safety Advancements: STEP is a program that sustains the same core mission but continues to improve to match the safety advancements in today’s time. Many of the safety advancements ABC has made were because of the participation in the STEP process. This is what makes this program so effective, the consistency in remaining up-to-date on current policies and having vast participation.

The Importance of Growth: The STEP program is based upon the process of continuous improvement, so members will continue to strengthen and develop in respect to safety. It is vital that we have vast participation in this, to help make our members across the board safer, and to provide a safe work environment for our team members. With consistent advancements and developmental ideas, we will strive to continue to increase safety for each member. It is our duty to demonstrate the importance of safety amongst our team members.

The Importance of Safety: Goes Beyond Rules (Personal Touch): Safety may demonstrate numerous rules, regulations and performance, but the number one importance of safety is to get each member home to their loved ones. There is nothing more valuable than a human life. Being a STEP participant, and standing by this program, not only sets the tone of safety in construction, but it shows the construction industry how much we care about people. With that said, I am proud of ABC’s commitment to the safety initiatives in place to keep improving and caring for others. As this program continues to grow, we can uphold the pride of knowing that our member firms are providing a safe work environment for all team members.

There is never a time to step down from safety, but there is always time to STEP up.

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