Training APEX Awards Best Practice: Limbach Holdings Inc.’s Hearts & Minds Commitment Course

The 16-hour, in-person leadership course emphasizes the value of developing team leadership skills to improve safe production and behavior.

APEX Awards

Limbach Holdings Inc.’s Hearts & Mind Commitment course is designed to equip leaders with a mindset committed to safety to affect the actions of their team and the safety processes and culture of the construction company.

Program Details

The 16-hour, in-person leadership course emphasizes the value of developing team leadership skills to improve safe production and behavior. It also underscores the importance of taking the responsibility for others with the honest intent to eliminate safety violations.

Together with a Learning team member, branch leaders and local Safety directors both teach a segment of the two days. The branch leader sets the stage for a goal of zero incidents by relating the branch’s safety measures to a personal story and experience with unsafe practices. Every leader in the business has been touched by some hazard and its impact. They then draw connections about what participants will learn in this course to eliminate these hazards to the best of their ability.

A Safety director, who is a member of the branch leadership team, takes on a section that highlights the branch’s specific statistics and goals regarding safe practices. They lead an exercise on how the branch can contribute to continuous improvement.

Maximizing internal subject matter experts saved the cost of two instructors traveling to each of Limbach’s 10 branches. Now only one instructor travels. The co-instructor is the local Safety director, who was trained in delivering the course by the Learning team.

Limbach also has begun to bring in external partners into these courses to strengthen its relationships with them, as well as perpetuate a Hearts & Minds safety culture across the industry. Currently, the company has taught two subcontractor companies alongside its employees.

Behavior change is evaluated by a self-report survey three months after course completion, as well as observation by the on-site Safety directors both immediately after the course and into the following year.

As part of the course, participants receive a letter they wrote to themselves about their commitment to make the workplace safer. In this letter, they outline key actions they can take to hold themselves accountable. The Learning team sends those letters to participants between six and eight months following course completion.


The course reached 60 percent of Limbach’s workforce. Limbach has increased its incident observations from the field by 300 percent in the last several years. The company had 16 recordables (safety incidents) in 2022.

Due to the course’s impact and careful design, Limbach has been requested by other contractors to teach this course to their employee groups. The company is set to teach this course to one external organization, and another is currently reviewing a proposal.

Edited by Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.