NWIBRT Honors the Best in Regional Construction Safety

NWIBRT Honors the Best in Regional Construction Safety

Northwest Indiana construction companies routinely smash national industry averages for safety, in no small part because of their commitment to learn and find new ways to improve. At a recent awards banquet held by the Northwest Indiana Business RoundTable (NWIBRT), the best-performing firms in safety were honored for their outstanding performance records in keeping people safe on the job.

“One of the things that’s often overlooked about NWI construction is how much work companies do regarding safety. It’s a task that never stops. Not even for a moment. Companies here in our region make a dedicated effort to refine their safety practices across some of the most challenging projects. That’s why NWIBRT is proud to honor these companies. They adhere to a standard well above what’s expected, and that elevates our entire regional construction profile,” said NWIBRT Safety Committee Chair and Cargill Health & Safety Manager Rick A. Foor.

Awards given during the banquet were given for work performed during 2021, which included some of the region’s largest and most important construction projects. About 50 companies were recognized, representing a mix of contractors, subcontractors, and owners.


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., a company with a lengthy record of achievements in safety, was chosen as this year’s winner in part because of the firm’s mentoring program and the way it shares safety information with other builders via a proprietary tracking application called “SPITAP.”

Solid Platforms employees conduct daily jobsite safety auditing and inspection in real time and records their findings in the SPITAP app. Safe behavior is rewarded and encouraged and unsafe behavior results in progressive discipline that may include termination. Through the app, all responsible parties are notified of findings. Trends are tracked and charted, and these metrics are used to develop safety topics, enhance training, and provide key points for mentors to focus on during coaching.

The company has a mentoring program that pairs experienced journeymen with less experienced employees until such time as proficiency in safety is met. This is also reinforced by additional safety representatives.


Company of the Year

Falk PLI.

The Company of the Year award goes to engineering or specialty companies that foster cultures of safety among their construction peers and exceed national safety averages themselves. Falk-PLI was selected as this year’s winner. Virtually every activity conducted by the company begins and ends with a review of the safety standards and concerns present. The company is always learning and sharing new best practices with every one of their partnering contractors.

Falk-PLI also goes well beyond traditional identification and documentation of jobsite hazards. For example, the company utilizes technology and incident statistics to thoroughly review existing hazards and predict the likelihood of future incidents before they occur. Every perspective is considered, including employees, employers, and customers, to ensure a safer and more effective jobsite.


Owner Excellence in Leadership

BP, Cargill, and NIPSCO were selected to receive Owner Excellence in Leadership awards this year because they are among the most proactive owner companies when it comes to safety standards. Each has developed quality safety programs and regularly encourages their contractors to improve their own programs and practices.

Because of those efforts, all three companies have been able to achieve low recordable incident and injury rates over the last several years. That’s no small feat considering they have thousands of employees on the job every day that perform all kinds of unique and challenging construction activities.










Innovation Award

The Innovation award is all about the companies that have been proactive in developing new safety initiatives on jobsites. This year, there were two winners.

Tonn and Blank Construction.

Tonn and Blank Construction earned an Innovation Award for its new off-site construction division. The company’s teams have been constructing components for a new hospital inside of their 80,000-square-foot offsite prefabrication facility. This includes complete bathroom pods, exam rooms, mechanical rooms, and more, which are all built offsite and then added to the new hospital. The new controlled environment improves safety and has reduced build times and costs for clients.

The second Innovation Award went to Falk-PLI for its use of an innovative 3D capturing and modeling system during the replacement of a 300-foot-long, elevated structure in an industrial facility. It had been over 40 years since the original design and construction of the structure, and much of the information about critical details like overall weight and center of gravity were unknown. Falk-PLI’s scanning with their 3D equipment answered these questions, which significantly improved safety and reduced shutdown time throughout the project.


Roger Walters Award

Dan Kvachkoff of Solid Platforms (left) with Tim Ross of NWIBRT and Franciscan Health.

For individuals that have demonstrated extraordinary contributions to the safety of the workers in Northwest Indiana, the Roger Walters award is a special honor that comes directly from their industry peers. This year’s winner was Dan Kvachkoff of Solid Platforms, Inc.

Throughout his 28-year career in the NWI construction Industry, Kvachkoff has been a positive force in safety and learning. His efforts have shaped thousands of carpenters in Northwest Indiana, through his safety training and continual coaching of members.


Committed to Safety

Along with the winners of the special awards, there were dozens of other Northwest Indiana construction companies that were celebrated for their respective safety performances. These were divided into three tiers – Recognition, Achievement, and Excellence. Altogether, the list of winners is a very good example of the commitment region builders make to constantly improve and exceed national safety averages. NWI construction firms are some of the very best at working safely and delivering great projects for their customers.

Thatcher Foundations.

K2 Industrial.


ACMS Group.






Advanced Engineering Services.








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.



2021 NWIBRT Safety Award Recipients


Contractor of the Year

Company of the Year

Owner Excellence in Leadership

Innovation Award

Outstanding Craft Persons Safety Leader Award

Roger Walters Award

Certificates of Appreciation

Recognition Award

Achievement Award

Excellence Award

Source: NWIBRT