Walbridge Aldinger Receives State Award for Outstanding Safety and Health Record - One of the Nation's Top Construction Companies Receives Prestigious Gold Award

Contact: Lori Donlan 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

August 29, 2006 - Walbridge Aldinger Company received an award today for an outstanding safety and health record from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

Walbridge Aldinger has worked more than 34 months and over three million hours-without a lost time accident.

The construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries in Michigan. Only about four percent of Michigan's workforce is employed in construction-however, construction fatalities account for more than 40 percent of all fatal workplace accidents.

"I am honored to present this award today to Walbridge Aldinger. Your record of achieving more than three million work hours without a lost time accident is truly outstanding," said DLEG Director Robert W. Swanson. "Throughout Michigan, North America and worldwide-Walbridge is recognized as a leader in the construction industry. Your commitment shows worker protection goes hand-in-hand with quality services."

Presenting the award were DLEG Director Robert W. Swanson and MIOSHA Acting Director Martha B. Yoder. Accepting on behalf of all Walbridge employees were Group Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Vincent DeAngelis and Assistant Vice President of Safety Health and Environmental Stephen B. Clabaugh.

"We are extremely proud to be recognized by MIOSHA. This award was earned by every Walbridge employee, including our union trades personnel, who have worked on projects the last 34 months and over three million hours without a lost time injury," said Walbridge CEO and Chairman John Rakolta, Jr. "We cannot achieve and maintain our high safety and health standards without the commitment of everyone involved in the project."

The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division recognizes the safety and health achievements of Michigan employers and employees through CET Awards, which are based on excellent safety and health performance. The CET Gold Award recognizes achievement of 100,000 to 2,000,000 continuous hours worked without lost days (based on the size and type of business).

"Walbridge shares a common vision to provide all employees and subcontractors with a healthful and safe workplace," said Clabaugh. "The practice of safety diligence by all project team members, including subcontractors, helps create an environment where accidents are reduced. Walbridge's safety program has total commitment on all management levels and receives top priority."

On every Walbridge project is a banner displayed with the company motto that reads: "If it is not safe-I won't do it, and I won't let others do it." This motto is fully supported by Walbridge management and its self-performing trades group Walbridge Concrete Services (WCS). The vision of a workforce that is supported, motivated and inspired must begin with the construction craft men and women and their unions who come from the local communities to build Walbridge projects.

This milestone could not have been reached without the exceptional effort and dedication to safety from all the WCS trade employees in the field. WCS employs union carpenters, cement masons, laborers, operating engineers, and teamsters. WCS self-performs much of the concrete foundation, columns, anchor bolts, concrete formed work, interior flatwork, walls, piers, concrete supported slabs, and architectural concrete on many of the Walbridge projects.

The active integration of Walbridge's Safety and Health Program, along with enforcement of safety polices and recognition for implementation of the program, endorses the ultimate goal of zero injuries. It is key that design through construction is done with safety polices and procedures to support the quality of life on all Walbridge projects by ensuring that, "Everyone goes home the way that they came to work."

Walbridge practices the Construction Industry Institute's nine key areas of a successful safety program. Their safety program goes beyond these key elements. In addition to industry standards, the incorporation of specialized training into programs helps position Walbridge as an industry leader in terms of safety and quality. Walbridge's program has, in several instances, set new benchmarks for industry practices. In fact, several of Walbridge's customers have incorporated Walbridge safety program elements into their own programs.

In their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement, Walbridge has provided over 13,000 hours of safety, health and environmental training to more than 5,000 employees, subcontractors, and other stakeholders in 2005. In addition, over 14,000 MUST Safety Modules have been completed by 988 Walbridge employees (past and present) over the last five years. Safety health and environmental training accounts for approximately 40 percent of all training the company provides to its employees. One of Walbridge's core values is to provide opportunities for its employees to achieve goals and improve their quality of life.

"Companies like Walbridge, that establish an integrated safety and health program, reap the benefits of significantly reducing their injury and illness rates," said Yoder. "Reducing these rates not only protects your employees-it has a healthy impact on your bottom line."

The CET MIOSHA Gold Award is the latest in a series of awards presented to the company, including:

- Associated General Contractors - National - Certificate of Commendation for Excellent Safety Record;

- Associated General Contractors - Detroit Chapter - Certificate of Commendation for Excellent Safety Record - Lost time incidence rate of ZERO (More than 1,000,000 man hours);

- American Society for Concrete Contractors - Zero Lost Workday Cases of Injuries & Illnesses (Below the average for contractors nationwide);

- National Erectors Association - Excellence in Construction Safety & Health - Maintaining a Lost Time Incidence Rate of ZERO - First Place - Category I (More than 1,000,000 hours);

- Walbridge was honored for the third straight year as one of Detroit's "Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in 2005."

Walbridge Aldinger was the first general contractor to enter into a formal partnership with MIOSHA. The following partners signed the agreement on January 12, 2005: Walbridge, DLEG, MIOSHA, the Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council, and all of the subcontractors and building trades unions working on the Dearborn CSO Contract #3 Project (Sinking Caisson). Walbridge Barton Malow LLC entered into a second partnership agreement with MIOSHA on May 3, 2006, for the North Terminal Redevelopment Project for the Wayne County Airport Authority. Both projects have successful safety records without a lost time incident.

The CET Gold Award was presented at Walbridge's United States Postal Service (USPS) Northeast Metro Processing and Distribution Center construction project. Walbridge-Teng, a joint venture, is building the project; Walbridge Concrete Services (WCS) is self-performing the concrete work.

The project is an 806,000 square foot (SF) facility, on a 70-acre brownfield site leased from General Motors Corporation (GM), in the southwest corner of the GM North Campus, in Pontiac. The value of the contract is $102,318,027, which includes $12,361,171 for fixed mechanization. The new facility will allow consolidation of several existing facilities and will serve as the primary location for processing southeast Michigan mail.

Walbridge Aldinger has a long and distinguished history covering over 89 years of service in the construction industry. Headquartered in downtown Detroit, Walbridge Aldinger employs a professional staff of more than 600, with offices located in Aurora, IL; Charlotte, NC; Kokomo, IN; Georgetown, KY; Quad Cities, IA; Pittsburgh, PA, Tampa, FL.; Windsor, Ont.; Mexico City, Mexico; Sinaia and Bucharest, Romania. The company provides a complete range of program management and design build services in all market segments of the construction industry. Walbridge also owns and operates Mefin Sinaia S.A., a diesel fuel injection manufacturing business in Romania with 1,300 employees. Visit http://www.walbridge.com/ or http://www.mefinsinaia.ro/ for additional information.

Read more Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth press releases.