When Charlie Bacon was 21 years old and working on his first construction project in Philadelphia, an accident involving an elevator counterweight killed one of his colleagues.

That traumatic incident helped fuel an obsession with safety that has carried through his entire 30-plus-year construction career—and has led to the company he now heads, Limbach Facility Services, being named Grand Champion in NU’s annual Excellence in Workers’ Comp Risk Management awards.

When Bacon joined Limbach as CEO in 2004, the mechanical contractor (founded in 1901) was in disarray. Just over a year earlier, the company had been sold to private investors by its previous owner—the disgraced and bankrupted energy trader Enron. A devastating worksite fatality in Philadelphia shortly before Bacon came on board further weakened morale.

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