APA Safety & Health Awards

APA Excellence in Safety MedalThe APA Safety and Health Program is designed to be the premier safety award program for the structural panel and engineered wood industry in North America. It encourages and recognizes operational excellence with the goal of reducing injury and illness rates year over year. Awards are based on lowest rates and severity of injuries, greatest improvement in reducing injuries, innovations to reduce injuries and best company record. The program is open to all APA members, and all members are encouraged to participate. There is no charge for entries. Benefits include an enhanced focus on worker health and safety, helping reduce mill accident rates, time-loss and workers’ compensation costs. Working for the Safety and Health Awards encourages participating mills to foster safe practices and recognize employees for their safety achievements. Participants also receive an Industry Survey for benchmarking their mill with others in the engineered wood industry.

2023 APA Safety and Health Award Winners: Canfor and West Fraser won Safest Company Awards in their respective categories. Two winners received the coveted Innovation in Safety Award. PotlatchDeltic’s St. Maries, Idaho, mill won the Equipment-Based Innovation Award and RoyOMartin’s Alexandria, Louisiana, mill won the Jeff Wagner Process-Based Innovation Award. View a complete list of the 2023 award winners.

How the Program Works

APA conducts an industry-wide Safety Survey of member and non-member mills. Mills that participate in the survey report their recordable, restricted work, lost time and fatality incidents and hours worked to APA each calendar year by submitting their annual OSHA 300A Log.

Mills outside the U.S. convert data from their national or provincial report to OSHA guidelines. A copy of Part 1904 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act describing OSHA’s recording and reporting rules is available from APA.

The restricted work, lost time, fatality (employee or service provider working on site) and other recordable incidences for each mill are used to calculate a Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) for each mill using the following formula:

     Mill WIR = (25 x F + 10 x LT + 5 x RW + R) x 200,000/Mill Hours


     WIR = Mill's Weighted Incident Rate for the Year
     F = Mill's Fatalities (Employees or Service Providers) for the year
     LT = Mill's Lost Time Incidents for the Year
    RW = Mill's Restricted Work Incidents for the Year
    R = Mill's Other Recordable Incidents for the Year

An annual report of Weighted Incident Rates for all mills is sent to each participating mill and provides benchmarking data to compare individual mill performance to the industry as a whole. 

APA Awards Program

APA member mills are eligible for the APA Awards Program. Participating member mills are grouped into Division I (plywood mills), Division II (OSB mills) or Division III (glulam, SCL, CLT and I-joist mills).

To be eligible for an APA Award, a member mill must meet all of these criteria:

  • The mill must have produced for at least 3 months during the calendar year.
  • The mill must have had no facility-related fatality, including fatalities of outside service providers while working at the facility.
  • The mill must have a WIR ranking among the best 50% of all mills that participate in the APA Safety Survey.
  • The mill's incident data and Innovation entries must be received by the required deadline. (The 15th day of February for the year following the award year.) 
Divisional Awards

The following awards are presented individually to Division I, II, and III mills:

  • Annual Safety Award.  This award is presented to the 2 mills in each Division with the best WIR.  In the case of a tie, the mill that reported more hours worked will be the winner.
  • 3-Year Safety Award. This award is presented to the mill in each Division that has the best average WIR over the last three years.  In the case of a tie, the mill that reported more hours worked will be the winner.
  • Safety Improvement Award. This award is presented to the mill in each Division that has three consecutive years of improving WIR and the largest percentage improvement between the first and third year.  In the case of a tie, the mill that reported more hours worked will be the winner.
Innovation in Safety Award

This award is presented to the mill that is judged by a committee of Industry Safety Professionals to have made a significant advancement in operational excellence of mill Safety and Health. Two awards are available. One is given for an "Equipment-Based" Innovation and one is given for a "Process-Based" Innovation. The mill advancement is judged on the following:

  • It must be an innovative/novel solution proven to reduce occupational injuries or illnesses and/or improve safety awareness on or off the job.  Results must be able to be demonstrated with at least 3 months of history. 
  • The innovation/solution can be submitted by a mill, a group of mills or Company.
  • The innovation/solution must be able to be leveraged across the industry. 
  • The innovation/solution must come from an APA member mill/company.
  • Preference is given if the innovation/solution is developed through safety committees or grass roots efforts. This promotes strong employee involvement and encourages strong buy-in and acceptance.
  • The implementation of an "off the shelf" program purchased or acquired from a third party will not be considered. 

Selection of the Innovation Award will be based upon "majority vote" of the APA Safety and Health Advisory Committee that is comprised of member safety professionals.  Members may apply for this award by submitting the Innovation in Safety Award entry form to APA before the February 15 deadline.

Safest Company Awards

The Safest Company Awards are based on having the best average WIR for the Company’s eligible member mills. It is awarded to a company with 3 or less mills and to a company with 4 or more mills. In the case of a tie, the company that reported more hours worked will be the winner.  All eligible mills must submit their incident data (OSHA Form 300A) by the February 15 deadline for their company to qualify for this award. The company must have had no facility-related fatality, including fatalities of outside service providers while working at the facility.

Incident Free Honor Society

Any eligible, participating mill that achieves a 0.00 WIR for the year will automatically be a member of the Incident Free Honor Society and be recognized as such.

How Can Our Mill Participate?

Mills can participate in the Safety and Health Awards Program by submitting their OSHA Form 300A to APA by the deadline (the 15th day of February of the year following the award year.) These completed forms should be signed and dated by the appropriate company executive from the mill. Entries for the Innovation in Safety Award must be submitted to APA by the same deadline.