Nothing Stops NWI Safety – NWIBRT Honors the Safest Firms

Nothing Stops NWI Safety – NWIBRT Honors the Safest Firms

Safety professionals throughout Northwest Indiana companies truly demonstrated a whole new range of capabilities throughout 2020. They adapted to the challenges brought on by the pandemic and successfully modified their already strict standards on construction jobsites to keep everyone as safe as possible. Recently, many firms were honored by the Northwest Indiana Business RoundTable (NWIBRT) for their hard work and ability to innovate even during tough times.

“Many companies seized every opportunity they could last year, and we’re proud of what they’ve accomplished. Companies took a hard look at their safety protocols and found ways to make the necessary adjustments, while still coming up with new ways to keep people protected from construction hazards,” said NWIBRT Safety Committee Chair and Cargill Health & Safety Manager Rick A. Foor.

“NWIBRT also took to new ways of sharing safety information and education throughout our membership. With so much change happening, it was very important to continue collaborating and learning from one another,” he said.

Many of the companies that earned safety awards for 2020 performed work on some of the region’s largest and most important construction projects. About 50 companies were recognized, including contractors, owners, and more.


Contractor of the Year

Solid Platforms

The Contractor of the Year winner must meet the Excellence Award criteria and must be a company that contributes to safety culture in Northwest Indiana, as determined by a third-party panel. Solid Platforms, Inc. took home the distinction, adding to a consistent track record of titles earned with NWIBRT, partly because the company has become an excellent model for other industry firms.

Solid Platforms performs all kinds of complex scaffolding and support projects, so naturally its workers take safety extremely seriously. The company’s safety teams use a regimented monitoring and reporting schedule that has become a high-quality example for other regional construction firms to learn from. Their philosophy is that if something is off, the work stops, and the issue is addressed immediately.


Company of the Year

Valdes Engineering

The Company of the Year award goes to engineering or specialty companies foster cultures of safety with their construction peers and exceed national safety averages themselves. Valdes Engineering Company was selected as the winner, a company that has not had a recordable injury in over 10 years with millions of hours worked.

Valdes uses data to track the potential for serious injuries and then uses that information for education. Near misses are tracked, which provides extra reporting and helps prevent serious incidents. Last year, the company implemented new programs to keep its employees healthy during the pandemic that were successful in keeping the virus out of its offices.


Owner Excellence in Leadership



Cargill and NIPSCO are two of the largest owners of construction projects in the area, and they’re also regarded as having some of the highest and most proactive safety standards found among owner companies. That’s why the two of them earned Owner Excellence in Leadership awards, in part because they each have developed quality safety programs and regularly work to encourage their contractors to improve their own programs and practices.

Because of those efforts, Cargill and NIPSCO were each able to achieve recordable incident rates of zero over the last several years across hundreds of thousands of hours worked.


Innovation Award

Falk PLI.

The Innovation Award is all about the companies that have been proactive in developing new safety initiatives on jobsites. The winner was Falk PLI Engineering and Surveying, which devised and patented a method to efficiently process data about overhead crane support systems in settings like factories or warehouses. Long story short, this innovative process enables the company to perform structural analysis without putting employees at risk at heights.


NWI Construction’s Top Priority

Dozens of other Northwest Indiana construction companies earned awards based on their respective safety performance records. Altogether, NWIBRT’s awards and recognitions provide a broad overview of the way companies from our area remain poised to adapt to any challenge in safety, even industry-wide challenges like 2020 produced. No matter what it takes, keeping workers safe is the number one priority for these companies.



NWIBRT Safety Award Tiers

  • Recognition – Companies have lower than national industry averages for:
    • Days Away from Work (DAFW)
    • Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Rate (DART)
    • Total Recordable Incidence Rate (TRIR)
  • Achievement – Companies have lower rates than the average of the NWI Regional Contractor community.
  • Excellence – Companies must meet Achievement level for three years or more.



2020 NWIBRT Safety Award Recipients


Contractor of the Year

Company of the Year

Owner Excellence in Leadership

Innovation Award

Outstanding Craft Persons Safety Leader Award

Certificates of Appreciation

Recognition Award

Achievement Award

Excellence Award



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