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New SIF Tracking Features in Highwire

Highwire users can now categorize, investigate, and report on events with the potential to result in a Serious Injury or Fatality (SIF). These features were developed with input from an advisory group of Highwire customers who sought to use Highwire’s assessment, inspection, and incident tracking solutions to gain greater risk insights and deliver even safer work. 


Relying on TRIR isn’t enough

For years, organizations have used recordable rate as a key metric for assessing safety performance, focusing on whether their organization’s rate meets or beats the industry average and whether they are reducing rates year over year. While this focus has contributed to significantly lower industry recordable rates, the national statistics on fatality rates have not seen a corresponding reduction.

Despite a nearly 50% decrease in recordable rate over the last 15 years, the fatality rate has remained relatively unchanged, with a slight increase in the number of fatalities observed in recent years. This discrepancy makes us think more critically about the relationship between recordable incidents and the exposures that result in more serious outcomes. While the industry has done a great job reducing the frequency of all injuries, the same can not be said about the most serious injuries and fatalities.

Highwire’s Shift to SIFs

To gain a more comprehensive understanding of safety performance and risk, it’s essential to consider not just recordables but also those events, including recordable incidents, near misses, and exposures that had the potential to result in a SIF. Aggregated data provides SIF insights that offer greater visibility into the risk on our job sites. Highwire is helping clients understand and analyze this data by introducing features within our Inspect and Tracker application which track SIF-potential events. Organizations using these features can identify root causes and implement corrective measures to prevent future events by identifying and analyzing these high-risk exposures.

Data collected in Highwire’s inspection tool helped to inform the team developing these features. Collectively, we recognized that there are hundreds of unsafe conditions and behaviors documented each year that are classified as “Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health.” These are exposures with SIF-potential. There are also thousands of high-risk observations documented in high-risk categories, with a subset of these also representing exposures with SIF-potential. Today, we investigate every recordable incident, regardless of severity across the industry with consistency. In many ways, this is what has led to declining recordable rates. However, we are missing out on valuable opportunities to investigate and learn from events with SIF-potential because we do not consistently give the same level of attention to the most serious exposures.


A consistent approach to SIF-potential investigations

As a result of our collaboration with safety leaders from Bond Brothers, Lee Kennedy, Rosendin, and other organizations worldwide, we’ve released new features that allow users to consistently identify and investigate events with SIF-potential directly within our Inspect and Tracker application. As a result, organizations will be able to answer critical questions about safety performance, such as:

  • How many SIF-potential events occurred across our projects?
  • Which activities or scopes of work have the highest number of SIF-potential events?
  • Which contractors supporting our projects have been involved in the most SIF-potential events?
  • What is the most common root cause identified during the investigation of SIF-potential events?
  • When SIF-related trends are identified, how can we continuously improve?

Highwire remains committed to providing tools and insights to enhance safety practices within the construction industry. We are excited to continue developing our SIF Tracking capabilities to help our owners and builders achieve their mission of improving safety outcomes on their project sites. Ultimately, we hope this approach will contribute to reducing the number and rate of serious and fatal injuries in construction.

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David Tibbetts

David Tibbetts is the Chief Safety Officer at Highwire. Prior to joining Highwire David managed the Construction Safety Program at Harvard University overseeing the implementation of the University's Construction EH&S Standard, Substance Abuse Prevention Program, and use of Highwire's Contractor Safety Assessment Program.

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