High-performing construction contractors recognize the importance of a positive safety culture at their firms. In 2012 and 2015, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) partnered with Dodge Data and Analytics (formerly part of McGraw-Hill) to survey contractors and learn about their Construction Safety Management Systems. The findings, reported in the April 2016 Dodge SmartMarket Report "Building a Safety Culture: Improving Safety and Health in the Construction Industry," indicated important progress over the three-year period.
But data also indicated that small firms lagged behind larger ones on most of the indicators. A new CPWR Quarterly Data Report, "Safety Management and Safety Culture among Small Construction Firms," compares the responses of small and large firms. The findings include:
- Almost 90% of respondents at large firms (500-plus employees) reported having measurable safety goals and objectives; 37% of small firms (one to nine employees) did.
- 74% of large firms indicated that safety and health is a top agenda item in all meetings; less than 25% of the smaller firms said the same.
Safety culture is one of today's most promising frontiers in construction safety and health, and it's heartening to see the industry's leading firms actively cultivating a positive safety culture on their construction sites. We must continue to provide information and resources to the nation's smaller firms so they can do the same.