STEP FAQ'S 
Frequently Asked Questions about the STEP Program

1.  Who should complete the STEP application?

STEP is a safety benchmarking and improvement tool.  ABCIL encourages each participant to engage as many employees as possible in the process.  Where possible, consider using a safety committee or a randomly selected or diverse sample of employees.  For each of the 20 Key Components of Safety measures, groups can work on reaching a consensus or results can be averaged.  More participants in the evaluation process will result in a truer assessment of your safety program and a more comprehensive look at areas for improvement.

2.  What are the STEP Achievement levels?

There are six levels of STEP achievement:  Participant, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.  The Diamond level is new for 2010.

3.  When is the STEP application due?

STEP applications are accepted throughout the year.  However, in order to ensure receipt of your STEP certificate and achievement recognition at your chapter's safety awards ceremony, applications should be returned to your local chapter office no later than March 5, 2010.

4.  Is there a fee to participate in STEP?

There is no application fee for STEP involvment at the Participant, Bronze, Silver, and Gold recognition levels.

There is a fee for each Platinum application submitted.  This fee is refundable if the application does not qualify.  Check or credit card information should be submitted with the Platinum application; failure to do so may result in processing delays.

In 2010, participation at the Diamond level is by invitation only.  Companies that qualify for this level will initially submit Platinum applications.  The $195 Platinum application fee will be credited toward the $395 Diamond level fee for qualifying companies that want to be recognized at the Diamond level.

5.  How do I submit my STEP application?

All paper STEP applications should be submitted directly to your local ABC chapter for initial review and verification.  Online STEP applications will be reviewed and verified by your local chapter prior to submission to ABC National for processing. 

6.  What if I am submitting identical applications to more than one ABC chapter for recognition?

If you are submitting identical copies of Participant, Bronze, Silver and Gold STEP applications to other ABC chapters, there is a "YES" box to check in Section 1 of the STEP application.  Please indicate the other chapter(s) to which you will be submitting on the line below this "YES" box.

When submitting multiple identical STEP Platinum applications, you must purchase at least one additional STEP Platinum certificate for each chapter in which you want your compnay to be recognized.  The additional STEP Platinum certificates cost $40 for each framed certificate or $15 for each unframed certificate.  If you do not purchase the additional STEP Platinum certificates, they will not be sent to the additional chapters and you will not be recognized as a STEP Platinum recipient there.

Example:  Contractor is a member of three ABC chapters and qualifies for Platinum status.  Contractor submits the identical application, execpt for the chapter name, to each of the three chapters.  Check submitted with application to Chapter 1 = $195.  Check submitted with application to Chapter 2 = $40 (for framed certificate).  Check submitted with application to Chapter 3 = $40 (for framed certificate).

7.  What if I am submitting distinctly different applications to more than one ABC chapter for recognition?

If you are submitting distinctly different Participation, Bronze, Silver and Gold STEP applications to various ABC chapters, then check the "NO" box where it asks if "Identical STEP applications are being submitted."  There is not need to list the other ABC chapters on the line below this box.

When submitting distinctly different STEP Platinum applications, you must submit a check for $195 with each application.

Example 1:  Contractor has three separate locations/divisions.  Each location/division is a member of a different ABC chapter.  Each location/division submits its own STEP application to its local chapter, along with a check for $195.
Example 2:  Contractor is a member of three ABC chapters and qualifies for Platinum level.  Contractor submits one single application to Chpater 1, but also lists Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 in section 1 of the STEP application.  Check submitted with application to Chapter 1 = $225.  ($195 for Chapter 1 Platinum application + $15 for unframed certificate for Chapter 2 + $15 for unframed certificate for Chapter 3).
Note:  THe number and type of certificates ordered should be indicated in the "STEP Platinum Payment Information" section on the bottom right of the STEP application.  Additional STEP certificates may be ordered at a later date through the ABC Store website.

8.  How do I submit STEP applications if my company has several locations or business units?

You can prepare one entry encompassing the entire company that includes aggregate (company-wide) safety data.  However, you may choose to submit seperate STEP applications (with location-specific or company-wide data) to each local ABC chapter in which you company maintains membership.

Note:  For consideration in the ABC National Safety Excellence Award competition and/or the Construction Users Round Table/Construction Industry Safety Excellence (CURT/CISE) awards, only companies whose STEP application relfects cumulative safety data from the entire company will be considered.

9.  This is my company's first year participating in STEP.  If it meets qualification criteria, can I apply for Platinum?

Yes.  All first-year or lapsed STEP applicants may apply for Platinum recognition immediately.  This is a new plicy for 2010.  The revised Platinum qualifying criteria ensures that long-term safety performance is considered, regardless of past STEP achievement levels.

10.  If my company is not a contractor, can it participate in the STEP program?

At the national level, ABC only recognizes participants in certain North American Industry Classification System categories (236, 237 and 238 - construction).  Your local ABC chapter may broaden recognition to include manufacturers or suppliers.  But regardless of recognition status, the 20 Key Components of STEP can be used as an improvement tool for enarly any safety program!

11.  Is the information submitted in my STEP application confidential?

Yes.  The information contained in each STEP application is viewed by ABC staff and is kept strictly confidential.  ABC does not disclose any company-specific STEP information.  ABC accumulates aggregate data through the program to determine collective safety trends and this information becomes part of ABC's annual STEP data analysis, which serves as a member benchmarking tool.  You can find this report on ABC National's website.

12.  Does ABC National keep a copy of the application?

ABC National retains copies of all STEP applications for a period of five years and then destroys them.

13.  Does STEP participation tie into other ABC recognition programs?

Yes, ABC has two recognition programs that tie into STEP participation:

Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) - Companies seeking AQC status must have participated in STEP at the Gold, Platinum or Diamond level at least once within the past two years (2008 or 2009).
Excellence in Construction Awards (EIC) - Neither AQC status nor STEP Gold, Platinum or Diamond recognition are required for submitting an entry in ABC's national EIC awards program.  However, EIC applicants with AQC status do earn an additional two points in the judging process.

14.  Who do I contact if I have questions?

Contact your local ABC chapter first.  If the chapter is unable to provide specific information you need, or if you are referred to the ABC national office, contact Chris Williams, ABC National Safety Director, at (703) 812-2024 or send him an email.

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