Each year ENR Southeast, ENR and McGraw-Hill Construction strive to make our annual Best Projects competition and awards luncheon bigger and better than before. Of course, annual improvement is a pretty standard goal for events such as these. 

But this year, we've got something that we think is pretty special: a new award for outstanding safety. For the first time, ENR Southeast—along with all of ENR's Regional Editions—is singling out one project and recognizing it for its outstanding safety record and job-site procedures. And while safety has always been a factor for our "Best Projects" competition, this award emphasizes its critical nature.

"Safety has always been an important area of ENR's coverage because it is so important to our readers. It has been one of the Best Projects competition's criteria from the beginning, but we think it deserves this special recognition. We are very excited to have a new category and new winner in each region," says Janice L. Tuchman, ENR editor-in-chief.

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The MIA Mover project, submitted by Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture, was recognized with this year's "Best Safety" award. (Photo by Steven Brooke, courtesy POJV)

For ENR Southeast's premier "Best Safety" award, the judges have chosen the Miami International Airport Automated People Mover System project—or "MIA Mover," for short—as the best overall for safety. The project, which was submitted for this year's contest by Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture, also was named the "Best" project in the transportation category.

For the safety award, we implemented a separate judging process from the regular competition. First, any project could vie for the safety award, in addition to recognition in a standard construction category. Entries were then ranked according to their job-site safety records, and then the 20 projects with the best safety stats were given to our safety judges for review.

ENR Southeast landed two outstanding specialists in the field to judge our entries. They were: Hendrik van Brenk, chief environmental, health and safety officer with Skanska USA in Atlanta; and Gaylord Ballard, senior health, safety and environment manager with KBR Building Group in Durham, N.C.

Voting independently, Van Brenk and Ballard were nevertheless similarly impressed with the MIA Mover project, with both of them giving it their respective top scores.

Our safety judges also agreed that another project entry, the Medical Center of Trinity, deserved an "Award of Merit" in the safety category. That project, located in New Port Richey, Fla., was submitted by Lend Lease Construction, and also earned high marks from Ballard and Van Brenk.

ENR Southeast will have more about both of these projects in the upcoming Nov. 5 print edition.