Executing on ABC’s commitment to world-class safety on jobsites requires ABC member contractors to continuously innovate. To be a top performer in safety, contractors need to keep their fingers on the pulse of technology. ABC provides its members numerous resources on technology and innovation to help them build the workforce of the future and ensure they are in accordance with our world-class safety management system, STEP.

This includes the inaugural 2021 Tech Report, Safety Tech reports, the Tech Alliance, construction technology education, the Tech Marketplace and more. To be a leader in the industry, contractors must be willing to innovate to deliver work safely and ensure our workforce gets home safely every day. These tools provide leaders with a roadmap to understand how technology and innovation can help them be safer and more efficient, by giving you insights, use cases, alignment with STEP and other options. It’s all in efforts to see what ties best to your business, based on a vetted group of technologies approved by the safety technology subcommittee.

Here is a list of tips and tricks on how to best implement, choose, identify and ultimately achieve a safer and potentially more efficient jobsite through construction technology and innovation:

  • Start small. We have construction tech overload in our industry! It’s exciting but also overwhelming. We’ve suffered from FOMO or shiny object syndrome. Technology is hyperpersonal to you and your business and must always be your priority. Test technology on one or two projects before rolling it out across all jobs. Assign someone as the technology champion who’s responsible for successfully implementing the tech. Celebrate small wins. Technology is tough; don’t forget to recognize success on any scale when innovating
  • After you’ve done the due diligence on what your challenges are and selected the best technology to address them, strategize your rollout to meet your end users where they are. Identify necessary training for any technology and how that will be completed.
  • Pair seasoned professionals together with digital natives. That creates opportunities to have employees connect with one another and create a more inclusive culture as well as improved safety and efficiency with technology.
  • Take note of what works and what does not. Document it so you don’t make the same mistake twice and double down on successes.

Tips and Tricks

BBS programSupported STEP Components:

C7. Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) (a process that informs management and employees of the overall safety of the workplace through safety observations. BBS is intended to focus workers' attention on their own and their peers' daily safety behavior.)

C1. Employee Participation
Digitizing Safety Management Supported STEP Components:

P6. Toolbox Safety Talks (brief workplace safety training sessions (“talks”) that are conducted at the worksite. These safety talks are typically conducted by the site supervisor, foreman, safety supervisor, or senior employee.)

C1. Employee Participation (workers are involved in establishing, operating, evaluating, and improving the safety and health program)

P3. Emergency response/fire elimination plan
Good catch / hazard reporting program Supported STEP Components:

C1. Employee Participation C1. Employee Participation.(Opportunities for employees to participate in safety processes, such as safety surveys, hazard reporting, incident investigation, safety instruction, toolbox talks, policy development, auditing, new hire mentoring, committees, job safety analysis development, pre-planning, etc.)

P9. Recordkeeping and Documentation (of all safety-related activities or policies)

L3. Safety Responsibilities (Defined for employees and specialty contractors, with expectations regarding hazard and injury reporting, PPE use, policy compliance and all aspects of the owner’s / GC’s safety program)
Incident / Near Miss reporting & investigation Supported STEP Components:

P1. Incident investigation (process of a process of systematic collection and analysis of information relating to an incident that led to injury or property loss. Investigations are conducted to identify the root cause of an incident in an effort to make recommendations or take corrective actions to prevent the future occurrence of the same or a similar event.)

P9. Recordkeeping and Documentation

R1. Leading Indicators

R2. Trailing Indicators

Safety inspections, audits, digital forms and checklists Supported STEP Components:

P7. Safety Inspections

P9. Recordkeeping and Documentation
Safety performance dashboard Supported STEP Components:

R1. Leading Indicators (safety performance metrics that are pre-incident/injury related)

R2. Trailing Indicators (safety performance metrics that are post-incident/injury related)

L5. Safety Program Performance Review (recurring management review of safety program against defined performance criteria, with a focus on continuous process improvement)
Safety training content delivery Supported STEP Components:

C6. Employee Safety Training

C8. Supervisor Safety Training

C5. New Hire Safety Orientation

P3. Emergency response/fire elimination plan
Track quals and training Supported STEP Components:

P9. Recordkeeping and Documentation

C6. Employee Safety Training

C5. New Hire Safety Orientation

“The possibility for technology in safety is increasing exponentially. There is much work going on with robotics, sensors, data collection, wearables, AI and AR/VR. In an environment where qualified craft personnel are hard to come by, technology holds the key to improving safety on sites, which leads to improved productivity as well. As a company we have implemented the use of handheld data collection devices as well as drones and are continually evaluating new technologies.”

—Scott Knowlen, Director of HSE, Cianbro Co.