ENR's Excellence in Safety award is one of the toughest prizes to win among the Best Projects awards. Unlike other categories, where airports compete against other airports, or office buildings compete against other office buildings, safety is an essential component to all project types. As a result, most of the 700 entries ENR's regional editions received for its Best Projects competition were eligible for the Excellence in Safety award.  

Juries of industry safety veterans were convened in 10 regions, where they were tasked with evaluating the safety performance and programs in hundreds of projects. In the end, 12 projects were selected to receive regional Excellence in Safety awards.

Next, a new jury was convened to analyze these 12 regional winners and pick a national 'Best of the Best' Excellence in Safety winner. The selection was unanimous: the Banner Estrella Medical Tower Addition in Phoenix. 

The project team, led by contractor McCarthy Building Cos. Inc., logged 850,000 worker hours without a lost-time incident. Judges were impressed that the project earned top safety honors from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the project was designated a Voluntary Protection Program STAR Site, the highest safety award by OSHA. 

Judges also lauded McCarthy's mandatory glove policy, requiring 100% glove use on every person walking onto the job site. This helped prevent hand injuries, the most common type of construction related injury. After success on this job site, McCarthy says it instituted the policy company-wide across all projects. 

You can read more about this project, see the other Best of the Best Projects winners and learn more about the judges in the March 16 issue of ENR. 

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Banner Estrella Medical Tower Addition, Phoenix