In January, Monroe, Ohio-based Baker Concrete Construction Co. earned First Place for Safety Excellence in the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Ohio’s Construction Safety Excellence Award (CSEA) competition, and was chosen as a finalist to represent its safety program in March at AGC’s National CSEA competition in Hawaii, where it earned Second Place in the Specialty Division, over 1 million work hours category.

Baker has not only achieved a stellar safety record, but done so while tackling complex projects on challenging sites, among the reasons ENR Midwest has named the firm Specialty Contractor of the Year.

Baker's safety achievements didn't happen by accident. The firm schedules OSHA re-certification training throughout the year. Field supervisors, meantime, receive weekly safety training, with an emphasis on job-specific tasks, such as rigging, scaffolding, and trenching.

Its safety program is as elaborate as it projects, which include the BP Coker-Whiting Refinery in Whiting, Ind., a $3.8-billion project that calls for the modernization of the nation's fifth-largest refinery. Baker contracted to pour 46,600 cubic yards of concrete on the foundation for the refinery's new six drum coker. The scope included structural steel, coker pit and mazes, pipe racks, heaters, pump/tank foundations, paving, underground utilities, and seven different piping systems.

Baker also is constructing the powerhouse phase of the Meldahl Hydroelectric Project in Hamilton, Ohio, in a joint venture with Alberici Constructors of St Louis. When completed in 2014, plant will include three 35MW bulb turbine-generators housed in a submersible powerhouse consisting of 109,000 cubic yards of reinforced mass concrete.

Last year, another Baker Project, Cincinnati's Great American Office Tower won an Award of Merit – Offices in ENR Midwest's 2011 Best Project competition.

Baker donates its services for many projects, including high schools, churches, and orphanages, as well as for organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. The Baker Golf Classic has benefited the Make-A-Wish organization for more than 10 years.

Baker will be profiled in the Sept. 24 edition of ENR Midwest, which also will include coverage of the Midwest's Top Specialty Contractors.