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Testing the associations between leading and lagging indicators in a contractor safety pre-qualification database.

Manjourides J, et al. Am J Ind Med. 2019.


BACKGROUND: Safety prequalification assessing contractors' safety management systems and safety programs lack validation in predicting construction worker injuries.

METHODS: Safety assessments of leading indicators from 2198 construction contractors, including Safety Management Systems (SMS), Safety Programs (e.g., falls, hearing protection), and Special Elements (drug testing, return to work) scales as well as the history of citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were compared to contractors' lagging indicators of recordable injury case rates (RC) and rates of injuries involving days away, restricted, or transferred (DART).

RESULTS: Increased SMS scores were related to lower injury rates. Each one-point increase in SMS values was associated with 34% reduced odds of a recordable case rate greater than zero (Odds ratio (OR): 0.66, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): (0.57, 0.79)), and a 9% reduced recordable case rate, if one occurs (Risk Ratio (RR): 0.91, 95% CI: (0.88, 0.94)). A one-point increase in SMS was associated with 28% reduced odds of a DART (OR = 0.72, 95%CI (0.56, 0.91)), and 9% reduced DART rate, if one occurs (RR = 0.91, 95%CI (0.87, 0.95)). Safety programs did not show consistent associations with injury outcomes. Having additional Special Elements related to drug and alcohol programs was associated with lower injury rates while the Special Element related to return to work showed no consistent associations with injury. Having more OSHA Citations was associated with lower injury rates for companies with injuries.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support pre-qualification methods based on SMS and suggest the need for safety management systems in contractors.

© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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