It's awards season here at ENR Southeast. We recently announced the winners of this year's 'Best Projects' awards, and just a few days later the nominees for 2013's 'Project of the Year' designation. And now it's time for another big one, our annual Excellence in Safety Award.

Before announcing the winner, I first want to emphasize the importance of this award. As Best Projects contestants know, the topic of safety has always been a main criteria considered by our judges. And it's the only criteria that we single out for its own special award, a step we first took last year. Also, for what it's worth, I consider our safety award to be the most important recognition we give.

For this award, ENR uses a separate group of safety experts as judges. This year, these judges included: Gaylord Ballard, senior health, safety and environment manager with KBR in Durham, N.C.; David Lockhart, director of loss control with Poole & Kent Co. of Florida, Miami; and David Wessin, vice president of safety and loss control with Miami-based Coastal Construction Group.

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Odebrecht-OHL employees celebrate the AirportLink Metrorail Extension's project's designation as a "Star Worksite" as part of the Dept. of Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Voluntary Protection Program. (Photo courtesy Odebrecht-OHL Joint Venture)

So, without further delay: This year's Excellence in Safety Award goes to the AirportLink Metrorail Extension project, submitted by Odebrecht-OHL Joint Venture.

We'll have much more information about this project in our Nov. 8 print issue. But check out this series of stats, courtesy of Odebrecht-OHL: the team completed over 2 million man-hours without an OSHA recordable injury; 878 days without an incident; and more than two years without a lost time incident.

That's the second year in a row where a project at Miami International Airport has won the top safety prize. Last year, the MIA Mover project, submitted by a joint venture of Parsons and Odebrecht Construction, garnered the inaugural safety award.

This latest Miami airport project may sound familiar to some readers for another reason. That's because the 2.4-mile-long AirportLink project recently took home an award as part of ENR's Global Best Projects competition, announced earlier this year. As we reported there, the project was certainly not without its risks, including the requirement to build over multiple rail lines, state roads and an active waterway. Again, we'll have much more about this project's safety program in our upcoming issue.

Additionally, our safety judges voted to recognize the Nemours Children's Hospital project in Orlando, submitted by Skanska USA, with an Award of Merit for Excellence in Safety.

Finally, ENR Southeast will be presenting this year's Best Projects awards in Orlando on Nov. 8. Click here for more details and to register for the awards luncheon. We hope to see you there!