Case Studies

Brahma Group Inc.

Rising above safety standards

Founded in 2002, Brahma Group Inc. (Brahma) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Terra Millennium Corporation (TMC), one of the oldest and largest industrial engineering and contracting companies in North America. Brahma was formed from TMC in an effort to expand into the general contractor and mechanical contractor market and now operates as a $265 million company.

Brahma provides: industrial maintenance; capital project construction; structural steel fabrication and installation; shutdown, outages and turnaround services; project management; major renovations; and a host of other services that increase the effectiveness and success of its customers in the respective industrial markets.

Expanding business

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Brahma is a growing company that employs between 900 and 1,000 workers and has eight regional offices throughout the United States. The company, which is looking to grow its presence in the Gulf Region and the Midwestern United States, recently opened two strategic office locations in Louisiana and North Dakota, putting it in the heart of the industrial world and offering easy access to industrial projects.

In addition to its offices, Brahma has labor resources throughout the United States to ensure that all jobs are staffed with experienced, quality and safe individuals. The company manages several ongoing jobs, which enables it keep a continual workforce of skilled employees and has demonstrated its capability to increase staff by 200 people for short-term projects.

Helping clients succeed

Brahma completes projects for a host of different industries, including industrial construction, power generation, mining, refining, government and chemical sectors; however, its niche is in industrial contracting. Known for taking on large projects that require innovation, adaptation and special attention to safety, Brahma has an impressive portfolio of past and current projects.

“We pride ourselves in taking projects to the next level and solving problems for our clients,” explains David Miller, CEO of Brahma. “Regardless of what project we’re presented with, we strive to execute it expertly, viewing the challenges presented to us as an opportunity to succeed.”

Currently, Brahma is in the final stages of completing a $100 million project at the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant in Tonopah, Nev.; the first thermal solar power plant of its kind and size in the world. Brahma is responsible for the complete execution of the mechanical erection of equipment and piping of the power block, as well as the execution of the mechanical erection of piping inside of the massive 548-foot receiving tower that will act as the host for solar energy harvested on-site.

“Located in the middle of the desert, the project requires large scale logistics planning,” says David. “We organized all vendors and subcontractors into a working organism. It’s just incredible what we’re building.”

The game-changing molten salt energy storage technology enables the Crescent Dunes plant to provide a stable and predictable electricity supply similar to that of conventional fossil fuel-burning or nuclear power facilities, but without the associated harmful emissions or hazardous waste and without any fuel costs. The 110-megawatt project will generate over 500,000 megawatt-hours per year and Nevada Energy will purchase 100 percent of the electricity generated from the plant and distribute it to power over 75,000 homes.

Along with power generation, Brahma is also heavily involved in the mining industry. Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC), a repeat client for Brahma, which owns the largest open pit copper mine in the world located in Brahma’s headquartered state of Utah, periodically stops production and shuts down areas of its mine to perform routine maintenance and system upgrades that ultimately result in increased yields and revenue. Brahma assists Kennecott in the shutdowns and helps the company resume normal business as quickly as possible.

A recent undertaking for the company was clearing the mine’s smelter of debris to promote more environmentally friendly output and increase productivity. “Upon our clients’ needs, we have been able to produce the manpower to help ensure their deadline is met,” David explains. “It’s crucial we meet deadlines, because our customers are counting on us.”

Brahma has also completed several projects at the Goldstrike Mine, owned and operated by the world’s largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold Corporation, where the company has performed capital and maintenance work to update the mine’s systems to improve its overall efficiency and extract more gold.

Setting the safety standard

In the construction industry, safety is a major concern, but Brahma continually exceeds industry safety standards and is recognized as one of the safest industrial contractors in the entire country. The company has a current safety rating of less than one. “The industry strives for a zero ranking, but we want to go beyond zero,” says Jon Wickizer, corporate safety director. “Our goal is 100 percent safety participation.”

In an effort to enhance its companywide safety efforts, Brahma developed a mobile application for its employees, which is used to build safety culture and awareness. “Everyone with a company phone uses the app, from our president and upper level executives to field workers,” explains Jon. “It requires daily participation and keeps safety top of mind. Each morning before we start the day it asks, ‘Why are you safe today?’ and our team members have the option to add pictures. Most of them upload photos of their families. It’s a great reminder of why safety is important.”

Not only does the application serve as a constant reminder to stay safe on the work site, whether it is in the field or behind a desk, it also has the capability to complete job safety analysis, inspections and incident reporting. The application is enhanced by an online dashboard that allows everyone with an account to sign in and view completed safety logs.

“Being able to track who completes their logs creates accountability, but more importantly it also allows our team members to interact and acknowledge another employee’s safety records by sending a private message or leaving a comment about the family photo they uploaded earlier that day,” explains Jon. “Even our president logs in everyday to acknowledge our companywide safety efforts. For a foreman out in the field to receive a private message from the company president is something really special.”

Jon is quick to note that the application is changing the way Brahma’s workers view safety. “It has helped foster a positive attitude toward safety and has brought our dispersed teams together through active participation,” he explains. “I’ve been in the safety field for 17 years and this is incredible. This interaction and culture building will be a game-changer.”

While other construction companies are reactive to accidents, Brahma is dedicated to preventing accidents and educating its workers on how to recognize potential hazards and anticipate accidents before such occur. “The safety industry in general is flawed,” says Jon. “We’re keeping track of problems that have already occurred and putting resources into fixing them rather than working to prevent them. Our mobile application is truly proactive and is helping us to go far beyond a zero rating.”

Teaching the next generations

Brahma is committed to preparing its next generation of workers for taking on challenges and succeeding in the industrial engineering and contracting fields. To accomplish this, the company looks to promote from within and provides a work environment that fosters growth. “Growing your business is so much more than just making money,” David says. “At Brahma, we get satisfaction from seeing new people become responsible leaders. If we can teach the next generations how to do our jobs better than we can do them now, it means we’re doing something right.”

When it comes to measuring success, Brahma not only looks to the personal successes and growth of its employees, but also to its ever-improving safety rating. “You always look at economics, but in our industry the most important KPI is safety statistics,” David says. “It’s the core of our business. We’re not successful without a good safety plan. We train everyone with Brahma safety and industry standard training. It’s a lot of time and effort, but we don’t take employee safety lightly. We have the best workforce on the market and to keep that going we have to make sure they are safe every day.”

Throughout the recession, Brahma continued to see growth, and shows no signs of slowing down. However, one of the toughest challenges the company faces is finding the right employees who are capable of successfully completing their day to day jobs, as well as contributing to the family-oriented culture of the company.

“People want to work for us because we treat them well above the industry standard and we demand a safe workplace,” says David. “It’s important to us. We want to see our managers succeed and progress. We want to help them reach their career goals.”

To reach its goal of expanding into new markets, the company is outing more effort and resources to its recently opened offices in the Gulf and Midwest regions, as well as looking to team with strategic financial and operational partners across the nation. With a strong leadership team, Brahma Group Inc. is making its mark.

Published on: April 3, 2015

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