Chesterton Tribune



Study: NWI union construction firms are far safer than national counterparts

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New data calculated from over 30 million man-hours and nearly 40 regional construction companies indicate that the region’s union construction industry has a far better safety record than the national average, the Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) is reporting.

Those data, based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, include man-hours, recordables (TRIR), day(s) away cases, and restricted work cases (DART) from each company, according to a statement released last week by the Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF). Data were entered into a formula which calculated the region’s rates as a whole for each of the last three years--2013, 2012, and 2011--and compared them to the national average.

The results:

Days away, restricted, or transferred rate (DART): 0.53 in Northwest Indiana, compared to the national average of 2.0.

Total recordable incident rate (TRIR): 0.25 here, 3.7 the national average.

“This means that NWI union contractors were 3.78 times below the national DART average, and 14.8 times below the national TRIR average,” CAF said.

“These numbers are very significant for all of the hardworking men and women of the Northwest Indiana union construction industry, and for the Construction Advancement Foundation,” said Jim Arendas, environmental safety and health director with CAF. “We’ve built some outstanding training programs throughout our region that focus on developing essential skills to keep workers safe on the job, keep productivity high, and reduce losses due to accidents and time away from work. We’re truly proud of these achievements, and everything this data represents.”

“Safety of our employees and customers is paramount at NIPSCO,” said Rick Calinski, public affairs manager at the Northwest Indiana Public Service Company. “We consistently review our safety practices, set goals and strive to improve our safety metrics on a daily basis. NIPSCO believes to achieve company goals in safety we must create a culture of safety within the work place.”

“The Indiana Department of Labor’s goal is to ensure workers in Indiana have a safe and healthy place to work and can go home each day to their families,” Department of Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble said. “To do this, Indiana employers, workers and agencies have to make safety a priority and vigorously reduce worker injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.”

“The BP Whiting Refinery Project is a model example of safety priorities in action,” Ruble added. “Their superior DART and TRIR figures show Indiana’s employees are healthier and feel safer at work. Their rates translate in to cost savings for Indiana businesses. The data shows Indiana is an industry leader in safety and will continue to adhere to the highest safety standards.”

“BP congratulates the NWI construction industry on the recent safety statistics which show injury rates far better than national safety statistics,” said Tom Keilman, director of government affairs at BP, Whiting. “These stats align with BP’s commitment that all workers ‘go home the same as how they came to work,’ because in the end, it is about workers going home safely to their families and friends. Congratulations.”

The Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) is a nonprofit organization that represents Northwest Indiana union contractors. CAF is a construction industry trade association, affiliated with over 500 contractor companies working in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Starke, and Jasper counties. The NWI Contractors Association is comprised of the CAF Board and its contributors. For more information about the CAF, visit


Posted 7/21/2014




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