U.S. Secretary of Labor Meets with NWI Construction Officials

U.S. Secretary of Labor Meets with NWI Construction Officials

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh made a visit to Northwest Indiana (NWI) yesterday to discuss the region’s outstanding performance and training in construction safety.

Representatives from the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana, Inc. (CAF), Congressman Frank Mrvan, and numerous leaders from the building trades gathered at the CAF offices in Portage to discuss the region’s achievements. They shared insights about how builders have effectively used federal grant funding for high-quality safety training over the years.

Over the last two decades, CAF has secured more than $1.7 million in grant funding for safety programs through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Safety and Health (OSHA) Susan Howard Training Grant Program. These funds have helped train almost 8,900 workers and employers in the latest best practices in jobsite safety.

“We want to thank OSHA for its partnership with CAF to make construction job sites in the region among the safest in the country. These funds have been instrumental in supporting the strong commitment of local contractors, labor leaders, and our owner community for the safest possible work environment,” said Dewey Pearman, Executive Director of CAF.

“Because of meetings like this one, the men and women who work in NWI construction can see that support for their hard work goes all the way to the very top. They are dedicated professionals, and they deserve the absolute best training and education to keep them safe on the job. That’s what this gathering is all about – bringing the best to our builders,” said Randy Palmateer, Business Manager of the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council.

According to the latest figures, NWI’s performance is 294% better for its total recordable incidence rate (TRIR) compared to national averages. This means far fewer workers experience injuries here than the rest of the country.

NWI beats the nation’s days away from work rate (DAFW) by 307%. Additionally, the region’s days away from work rate (DART) is 33% lower than national averages.

“We were honored to host this meeting and hope it kick starts an even greater future in making NWI construction a great place to work,” said Dr. James Arendas, Director of Environmental Health and Safety with the CAF Safety Institute.

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