APA – The Engineered Wood Association recently announced the winners of its 2016 Safety and Health Awards, a program that encourages and recognizes safety and operational excellence in the North American structural panel and engineered wood industry.
Resolute-LP Engineered Wood and LP won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories, while the coveted Innovation in Safety Award went to two winners: LP of Two Harbors, Minnesota, for the Equipment-Based Innovation Award, and RoyOMartin of Oakdale, Louisiana, for the Jeff Wagner Process-Based Innovation Award.
LP, a producer of engineered wood products in Canada, the U.S., and South America, earned top honors among companies with four or more mills, with a 2016 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) of 1.57. Resolute-LP Engineered Wood, which produces I-joists at mills in Larouche and Saint Prime, Quebec, won its award in the category for companies with three or fewer mills. The company posted a perfect 0.00 WIR for 2016.
The Two Harbors LP mill’s original “Saw Handling Articulating Arm” equipment innovation and the Oakdale RoyOMartin mill’s “Safety Banners” took top honors out of 26 Innovation in Safety Award entries. The idea for the “Saw Handling Articulating Arm” came from millwright Roger Walsberg who decided to try a new solution for a long-time safety concern. The mill and corporate requirements state that millwrights are not to lift anything over 50 pounds, despite the hogs being 75 pounds, with no mechanical means of handling them. This innovative hog saw handling unit carries the weight of the hog assembly without straining the employee using the equipment, creating a much safer workplace.
“Safety Banners,” the Oakdale RoyOMartin site’s entry, is a new initiative to help keep safety in the forefront of the minds of employees. The employee safety committee created banners with employees’ children and grandchildren working in the mill environment. They incorporated safety slogans onto the posters to give employees a personal reminder to work safely. The banners not only serve as a visual reminder for employees, but it also boosts morale and pride when employees see their family members in their place of work. During the implementation of this initiative, the mill was in the midst of a 400-day streak of no recordable injuries.
Begun in 1982, the APA 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 2016 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 2016 program. A total of 24 facilities representing eight APA member companies—Boise Cascade Company, EACOM, LP, Norbord, Resolute-LP Engineered Wood, Roseburg Forest Products Co., RoyOMartin, and Weyerhaeuser—earned awards in various competition categories. Some of the mills were multiple award winners; see the complete list below for more details.
In addition to the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement, Annual Safety and Health Honor Roll, 3-Year Safety Award, and Incident Free Honor Society. Twenty-one 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 three divisions based on the type of product manufactured at the mill.
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 87 mills reported data for 2016. The 2016 industry Total Incident and Weighted Incident Rates were 2.33 and 10.67, 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 October in Huntington Beach, California. Award plaques also will be presented to the winning mills by senior APA management staff.
The 2016 Safety and Health Awards program was the ninth 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.
More information on the APA Safety and Health Awards Program can be found on the Association’s website at www.apawood.org.