2020 APA Safety and Health Award Winners Announced

APA–The Engineered Wood Assn. has announced the winners of its 2020 Safety and Health Awards, the industry’s premier safety award program encouraging and recognizing operation excellence with the goal of reducing injury and illness rates.

The 2020 average Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) for the industry was 7.14, an improvement over last year’s WIR of 8.11. The 2020 average Total Incident Rate (TIR) was 1.25, a nearly 22% reduction over last year’s TIR of 1.60, setting a new benchmark for the mills participating in the program. These 2020 values signify the industry’s commitment to injury prevention and the health and well-being of its employees. 2020 marks the fourth consecutive year the average TIR was below 2.00. The WIR is calculated using both the number and the severity of recordable incidents.

The Equipment-Based Innovation in Safety Award went to Resolute-LP Engineered Wood in Larouche, Quebec, for its miniature nester. After a close call with I-joist manipulation at the rework station, the team chief envisioned a simple and compact leverage concept. The I-joist bundles that came from the rework station had been manually nested, as there was no automatic nester. Fortunately, there were no serious incidents, but hazards remained. Deep depth I-joists can weigh 200 pounds or more. The miniature nester is placed on the I-joist bundle and leveraged to raise the I-joist into the proper location. This innovation has eliminated crushing and entrapment hazards to employee hands in the manipulation process. Operators are now completely outside operations, resulting in zero contact between hands and I-joists. The first tests took place in June 2020, and after conclusive tests, the mill implemented the tool, and positive results were seen immediately. Since implementation, there have been zero related incidents reported.

The Jeff Wagner Process-Based Innovation winner was Boise Cascade Co. in Thorsby, Ala., for its Lock-Out Simulator Training Board. The innovation was sparked by the vision of the plant’s safety committee to build a lock-out training board to help new-hire team members understand how to control risks associated with energy sources. The board is powered through a 120 V system and is programmable, allowing the trainer to simulate different scenarios. Each lock-out point has a hidden switch, which is connected to a programmable logic controller. During the verification phase of the lock-out procedure, the control panel will show any mistakes made by a team member when the test button is pressed. The Lock-Out Simulator Training Board was put into effect June 2020 and is now being used for new-hire training, to teach employees where to stand to help minimize the safety impact should an arc flash occur and for supervisors to complete annual refresher training.

Sixty-nine APA-member structural wood panel and engineered wood product facilities in the U.S., Canada and abroad participated in the 2020 program. A total of 17 facilities representing seven APA member companies earned awards in various competition categories. Some mills were multiple award winners.

Besides the Safest Company and Innovation awards, other competition categories include Safety Improvement (2018-2020), Annual Safety and Health Award and Three-Year Safety Award. The annual award, three-year average and safety improvement categories are divided into three divisions based on the type of product manufactured at the mill (plywood; OSB; and glulam, CLT, I-joist, LVL and SCL).

While the program awards are limited to APA members, data is collected from both member and non-member mills to provide a broad-based industry performance benchmark. A total of 80 mills reported data for 2020.

The full list of award winners:

Innovation In Safety Award

  • Equipment-Based Innovation Winner: Resolute-LP Engineered Wood; Larouche, Quebec
  • Jeff Wagner Process-Based Innovation Winner: Boise Cascade Co.–Thorsby EWP; Thorsby, Ala.

Safest Company Award

  • Three or Fewer Mills: PotlatchDeltic Corp.
  • Four or More Mills: Norbord Inc.

Annual Safety And Health Award

  • Division I – Plywood
    1st Place: PotlatchDeltic Corp.; St. Maries, Id.
    2nd Place: Murphy Plywood Co.; Rogue River, Ore.
  • Division II – OSB
    1st Place: LP Brasil; Ponta Grossa, Brazil
    2nd Place: LP Chile S.A.; Lautaro, Chile
  • Division III – Glulam, CLT, I-Joist, LVL and SCL
    1st Place: LP; Red Bluff, Calif.
    2nd Place: Anthony Forest Products Co.; Washington, Ga.

Three- Year Safety Award

  • Division I – Plywood: RoyOMartin; Chopin, La.
  • Division II – OSB: Norbord Inc.; Nacogdoches, Tex.
  • Division III – Glulam, CLT, I-Joist, LVL and SCL: Boise Cascade Co.; White City, Ore.

Safety Improvement Award (years 2018-2020)

  • Division I – Plywood: PotlatchDeltic Corp.; St. Maries, Id.; 97.6% improvement
  • Division II – OSB: Norbord Inc.; Joanna | Kinards, SC; 100% improvement
  • Division III – Glulam, CLT, I-Joist, LVL and SCL: LP; Red Bluff, Calif.; 100% improvement

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