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Construction Safety Programs Are Yielding Business Benefits for Firms, According to New McGraw Hill Construction Report

Safety Programs-SmartMarket ReportNEW YORK –June 20, 2013— Contractors are reporting business benefits from instituting strong safety programs, according to a new report by McGraw Hill Construction on safety management in the construction industry, available at

In particular, construction companies report the following benefits due to the implementation of safety management practices: 

  • 51% report increases in project ROI; with a fifth of those reporting increases of greater than 5%
  • 43% report faster project schedules, with half reporting schedule improvements of a week or more
  • 39% report a decrease in project budget from a safety program, with a quarter reporting decreases of 5% or more. Only 15% reported that safety programs cost firms more—debunking the myth that safety has to negatively affect a firm’s bottom line.
  • 82% report an improved reputation
  • 71% report lower injury rates
  • 66% report they have a greater ability to contract new work
  • 66% report better project quality

“Safety programs are not only creating safer places for their workers, but they are also improving firms’ bottom lines,” said Michele A. Russo, director of research communications, McGraw Hill Construction. “Overall, construction companies—large and small—are reporting positive financial impacts from safety programs—and the size of those benefits increase as the depth of the program increases. In an industry that operates on low margins, this is a powerful finding.”

The study also found that 92% of large contractors (firms with over 500 employees) and 48% of smaller firms have instituted fully inclusive and widely observed safety programs, meaning that larger firms are capitalizing more on these business benefits as compared to smaller contractors and subcontractors.

“McGraw Hill’s report confirms the importance of safety within our industry, and highlights the tangible gains that can be seen across any business,” said Jim Dorris, vice president, health, safety, environment & sustainability, United Rentals, Inc. “United Rentals has found that investing in resources aimed at sustainable safety excellence not only creates a safer work environment, it also increases productivity, reduces costs, enhances the company's reputation, and grows the business.”

Firms are reporting that onsite safety training and education programs are currently most widely adopted (reported by 95% of firms) and considered most valued to jobsite workers (82% find it valuable). Online training programs are still an emerging trend, though the increase in mobile tools onsite will likely influence that.

"Every day in America, an average of 13 workers die on the job from safety-related incidents. An industry-wide culture of safety is essential to eliminating that figure, and this research study proves the many benefits, for our companies and our workers, of creating that culture,” said Brian Tonry, executive vice president and general manager, ClickSafety. "As more and more companies understand and realize the return on investment of safety programs, we will see more widespread adoption of sustainable initiatives throughout the industry, moving us closer to our collective zero-injury goal."      

Key industry trends—such as the increased use of mobile tools on construction sites, building information modeling (BIM) and prefabrication/modular construction practices—are also helping to improve safety outcomes for firms, indicating the improved safety expectations that will be placed on construction companies moving forward. Notably, the 43% of the industry report BIM having a positive impact on project safety and 49% report the same positive impact from prefabrication/modular construction. Mobile tools, such as Smartphones, iPads and iPhones also are reporting safety as reported by 82%, 81% and 78% of contractors, respectively.

“The survey results confirm what our research has led us to believe: safety is a sound investment. The firms implementing sound safety practices are boasting leaner project costs overall, faster production, reduced injuries, and better project quality,” said Pete Stafford, executive director, CPWR. 

The study’s premier partners include CPWR—The Center for Construction Research and Training, ClickSafety, United Rentals, and the National Institute of Building Sciences, its association partner.

On Wednesday, June 26, McGraw Hill Construction will be presenting key findings at the American Society of Safety Engineers Safety 2013 Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center at ClickSafety’s Booth #1437 at 9:15 am and 2:00 pm.

To download a copy of the Safety Management in the Construction Industry SmartMarket Report, visit


About McGraw Hill Construction:
McGraw Hill Construction provides essential data, news, insights, and intelligence to better inform construction professionals’ decisions and strengthen their market position. McGraw Hill Construction’s data, analytics, and media businesses – Dodge, Sweets, Architectural Record, and Engineering News-Record – create opportunities for owners, architects, engineers, contractors, building product manufacturers, and distributors to strengthen their market position, size their markets, prioritize prospects, and target and build relationships that will win more business. McGraw Hill Construction serves more than one million customers through its trends and forecasts, industry news, and leading platform of construction data, benchmarks, and analytics, including Dodge MarketShare™, Dodge BuildShare® and Dodge SpecShare®. Construction data is available for North American and global markets.  To learn more, visit

About McGraw Hill Financial:
McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. Iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, McGraw Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at

Media Contact:
Kathy Malangone, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, McGraw Hill Construction, +1 212-904-4376,

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