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Take the FirstSTEP in 2011 with ABC

New program helps contractors establish a safety program that works

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ABC San Diego works with its members to continuously advance safety and training efforts. The Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) developed by ABC provides contractors with a valuable road map to advance their safety practices. Contractors that participate in STEP experience numerous benefits, many of which apply to the bottom line. When a company can reduce incidence rates and missed work days, restricted or transferred rates, it saves personnel costs. By lowering the experience modification rate (EMR or “mod factor”), contractors can reduce their annual workers’ compensation insurance rates and share savings with clients. Finally, recognition for safety performance can be used as an important business development tool, making a contractor more attractive to current and potential clients. “I.E.-Pacific Inc. started participating in the STEP awards program many years ago,” said Diane Koester-Dion, company president. “We originally participated to have an outside review of our safety program.

“In recent years many agencies have included (ABC’s) safety program, including safety awards, as part of their evaluation requirements. Due to our participation in the STEP award program, we had safety awards to list in our proposals when safety was a factor for evaluation. The participation has had a positive impact on us procuring work in the past couple of years,” said Koester-Dion.

Taking the first step to establish a complete safety program with all the needed components is among the greatest challenges for a contractor. To meet this need, ABC’s new FirstSTEP is a resource designed to help contractors start and navigate the complexities of workplace safety.

Brand new for 2011, FirstSTEP provides tools for contractors to perform a basic evaluation of their current safety performance. The tools help companies establish a foundation for a strong safety program that will open the door for them to transition to ABC’s full STEP program, where even greater safety benchmarking and resources are available.

There are six levels of STEP achievement: Participant, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Participating companies are encouraged to engage as many employees as possible in the evaluation, resulting in a truer assessment of the safety program and a more comprehensive look at areas that need improvement.

The STEP benchmarking tool includes 20 key safety measures, enabling companies to measure their safety program progress, identify ways to improve it and compare their performance with other contractors.

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