Close Window

APA, The Engineered Wood Association

APA News Release

For Release: Immediately    
Contact: John Hopp, APA – The Engineered Wood Association
Phone: 253-620-7447
Date: May 29, 2014
Number: 2014-6

2013 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

Program honors manufacturers for safety strides.

2013 APA Safety and Health Award Winners APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently announced the winners of its 2013 Safety and Health Awards, a program that encourages and recognizes safety and operational excellence in the North American structural panel and engineered wood industry.

Abitibi-LP Engineered Wood and Norbord won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories, while the coveted Innovation in Safety Award went to two winners: LP of Sagola, MI, for equipment-based innovation, and Weyerhaeuser of Elkin, NC, for process-based innovation.

Norbord, a North American manufacturer of structural wood panels, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills, with a 2013 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 2.55. Abitibi-LP, which produces I-joists, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2013.

The Sagola LP mill’s original “Log Jam Pusher” equipment innovation and the Elkin Weyerhaeuser mill’s engaging “Summer Safety Blitz” program took top honors out of 30 Innovation in Safety Award entries. Prototyped and tested on site by Sagola mill staff, the “Log Jam Pusher” is a new piece of equipment that greatly diminishes the risk to operators while removing large or crooked logs from a chain conveyance system. Using the chain’s own mechanical force, the equipment repositions the logs safely, without physical aid from the operator. The Elkin mill’s “Summer Safety Blitz” program proved highly effective in involving staff in safety awareness through several avenues, including production of a “Summer Safety” video series starring mill employees, a March Madness hoop shoot and basketball goal giveaway incorporating safety themes, a summer safety cooler bag giveaway, and other activities popular with staff.

Begun in 1982, the awards program honors the managements and employees of companies and mills with the lowest Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) that is calculated using the number and severity of recordable incidents reported on the mill’s annual OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) report. Since 2008 was the first year that WIR was used, awards and reports for 2009 through 2013 continue to also show Total Incident Rate (TIR), the measure used in previous years.

Seventy-seven APA member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada, and abroad participated in the 2013 program. A total of 21 facilities representing eight APA member companies—Abitibi-LP Engineered Wood, Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., Anthony Forest Products Co., Louisiana-Pacific Canada, LP, Norbord, Roseburg Forest Products Co, and Weyerhaeuser—earned awards in various competition categories. Some of the mills were multiple award winners.

In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, Three-Year Safety Award, and Incident Free Honor Society. Twenty mills achieved a zero incident rate for the year and thus were named to the Incident Free Honor Society. The annual honor roll, three-year average, and safety improvement categories are divided into two divisions based on hours worked annually—more than or fewer than 400,000 hours. While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills in order to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 77 mills reported data for 2013. The 2013 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.05 and 10.05, respectively.

The winning facilities and companies will be recognized and their safety accomplishments celebrated during the Chairman’s Dinner at APA’s annual meeting in November in San Antonio, Texas. Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by APA President Ed Elias or other APA management staff.

The 2013 Safety and Health Awards program was the sixth year of the program under a revitalized safety effort spearheaded by an APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee, comprised of several APA member company safety professionals. Under the committee’s guidance, three main goals were established: make the APA program the premier safety awards program in the industry, encourage the sharing of best practices as a means to improve the industry’s safety culture and programs, and most importantly, improve the industry’s overall safety performance.

View the complete list of the 2013 Award Winners. Additional program information is available on the APA Safety and Health webpage.

# # #

About APA – The Engineered Wood Association

Founded in 1933 and based in Tacoma, Washington, APA represents approximately 160 plywood, oriented strand board, glulam timber, wood I-joist, Rim Board and structural composite lumber mills throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.