WASHINGTON, May 23—In testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Kwest Group President and Chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) National Safety and Health Committee Ryan Odendahl called for a collaborative effort between industry and the federal government to increase workplace safety and promote economic opportunity in the United States.

“Leaders in our industry are striving to drive a culture of accident prevention,” Odendahl told members of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee at a hearing titled Regulatory Reform: Unleashing Economic Opportunity for Workers and Employers. “I believe that all accidents are preventable, and the right leadership and culture—those that invest in employee safety education and engagement—will lead to safer projects, increased economic output, and success in our industry.”

As a member of ABC, Kwest Group participates in the Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP), which allows firms to measure their safety processes and policies and learn how to improve safety programs already in place on their jobsites. The best-performing ABC STEP participants are 670 percent safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average, with an 85 percent reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR), according to the association’s 2018 Safety Performance Report.

“The collective goal of zero harm can best be achieved as a collaborative effort between regulators and industry professionals.“ Odendahl said, “Our companies and industry experts, I firmly believe, are anxious to share their valuable experiences to promote workplace safety.”

Kwest Group is a civil and environmental merit shop construction firm that performs work in the energy, rail, petrochemical, defense and public/private infrastructure markets across the United States.