World-Class Safety Performance Achievement with Platinum Rating in ABC STEP Program 

World-Class Safety Performance Achievement with Platinum Rating in ABC STEP Program 

Alabama / Florida –  March, 2024 —–The Highland Group today announced it has achieved Platinum Level in the Associated Builders and Contractors STEP Safety Management System. Founded more than three decades ago, STEP is a proven system that provides the framework to measure, strengthen and build industry-leading safety programs that enable top-performing ABC members to achieve incident rates nearly seven times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average.  

“Safety isn’t just a choice at The Highland Group, it’s in our DNA, driving our project management and employee training. This commitment to safety aligns perfectly with our company mission of maintaining higher standards in all we do,” says Mike Sullivan, VP at The Highland Group. “The recognition for our safety efforts is a testament to the dedication of our employees at all levels. Our field team members diligently work to build projects and impact lives, embodying our promise to holistic safety. Our goal is to continuously enhance operations, establishing a strong safety foundation from the ground up – a demonstration of our pledge for excellence and high-quality results.” 

The Highland Group is committed to fostering a zero-incident safety culture through an approach that prioritizes the safety of all team members, contractors, and stakeholders. This commitment is underpinned by extensive pre-construction planning, jobsite safety meetings, and direct interaction with vendors and subcontractors, which empowers employees to address real-world safety challenges effectively. New hires undergo a comprehensive orientation, followed by regular field audits and mandatory safety trainings throughout the year. To further enhance safety protocols, The Highland Group has introduced a Safety Compliance Officer role this year, responsible for overseeing subcontractor and vendor vetting processes, approvals, recruitment, and relationship building. This rigorous approach ensures all parties involved are properly licensed, insured, and qualified to serve their projects and clients. 

STEP participants measure their safety processes and policies on key components through a detailed questionnaire with the goal of implementing or enhancing health and safety programs that reduce jobsite incidents. The Highland Group demonstrated exceptional competency, achieving perfect ratings in four out of the five categories. This included Culture, Process, Total Human Health, and Overall Results score. Their commitment to safety, health, and quality processes yielded remarkable performance results, setting a high standard for other organizations to strive for.  

“Safety is a journey, and that journey is possible because of systems like STEP, which enables ABC member contractors like The Highland Group to actively build health and safety into their culture, creating industry-leading, holistic safety programs to protect their workers and deliver for their clients,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “STEP measures performance on key components, strengthens and expands best practices and builds safety culture. Our people are our greatest asset, and I commend The Highland Group for consistently fulfilling those commitments to raise the bar of safety performance.” 

According to ABC’s annual Safety Performance Report, STEP participants, regardless of company size or type of work, can reduce recordable incidents up to 85%, making the best-performing companies 688% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.  

To learn more about the STEP program, visit 



About The Highland Group – a premier real estate development and commercial construction firm, offering expertise in various services such as preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, and design-build delivery. We are on a mission to develop leaders with high standards that make a positive impact on our company and the communities where we operate by fostering trust and building exceptional projects.  


Proudly serving clients across the Southeastern US since 2005, The Highland Group has established offices in three locations: Gulf Coast Region (501 South McKenzie Street, Suite 2, Foley, Alabama, 36535), Tennessee Valley Region (1300 Meridian Street North, Suite 300 Huntsville, AL 35801) and Florida Panhandle Region (130 Richard Jackson Blvd., Suite 104A, Panama City Beach, Florida, 32407).  


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CONTACT: Lindsay Schumacher 251.583.6352 |  


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