An Orland Park, Illinois-based commercial and industrial HVAC contractor has received a safety honor for the third time in four years.

Reporting zero days lost since restructuring its safety program in 2012, Southwest Town Mechanical has been given the MCAA’s safety award for the third time in four years. 

The award was presented at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America’s recent convention in Orlando, Florida. There is only one winner per category in the country. 

Company officials say the motivation for implementing the new program was care and concern for its employees. 

“Years ago we had a few really bad accidents and there was a realization that accidents were preventable and that we needed to step up our safety culture,” said Lindsey Grilec, Southwest Town Mechanical spokeswoman and service consultant. “We’ve even implemented a unique policy where anyone, whether it’s an apprentice on their first day on the job or a long-time veteran, can shut down a site if they don’t think it’s safe. And it’s encouraged. They don’t get in trouble for it, and, in fact, we are appreciative of it if they notice things that do not meet safety protocols and they make this decision for the good of our workers. It’s the right thing to do.”
Safety glasses and head gear are mandatory on all sites at all times and Southwest Town has given its technicians a “no-talk challenge” to eliminate cellphone use while driving. 

“In the end it’s all about keeping our employees safe and making sure that they’re taken care of,” Grilec said. “We want every year to be a safe, accident-free year. That’s the greatest reward for us.”