GEORGIA- PACIFIC SAWMILL AND PLANER MILL RECOGNIZED
FOR SAFETY ACHIEVEMENT
Philomath - Employees from Georgia-Pacific West, Inc.'s
Sawmill and Planer (G-P Philomath) have earned the plant
recognition as a "Star" participant in Oregon
OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The mill is
one of only 3 "Star" sites, and one of 4 VPP
sites in Oregon.
G-P Philomath has 147 employees who are very active in
the company's safety and health program. Site management
continues to be very pro-active toward safety and health,
placing a strong emphasis on safe work practices. Employees
have a variety of opportunities to be meaningfully and
substantially involved in all parts of the company safety
and health program. Together, management and labor at the
facility have created a workplace culture where safety
is no longer just a priority, it is a core value for each
and every employee.
The mill is the first facility in Oregon to "graduate"
from Oregon OSHA's Safety & Health Recognition Program
(SHARP) into the VPP. The facility was awarded SHARP status
in early 2000, and then attained "Merit" status
in VPP during November of 2000. An Oregon OSHA VPP evaluation
team visited the site in October of 2001 and found that
the safety and health program management system at G-P
Philomath continued to exceed Oregon OSHA requirements.
They observed that the various safety and health related
programs as well as safety and health conditions at the
site were well above average for the industry.
"Star" status is the highest level attainable
under the VPP program. To achieve VPP "Star"
status, a worksite must have a three-year average injury
and illness rate that is at or below those of its industry.
The worksite must also undergo extensive Oregon OSHA reviews
of workplace conditions, safety records, employee safety
and health programs, regulatory compliance, and personnel
Oregon OSHA's VPP companies are removed from routine scheduled
inspection lists for the duration of their participation.
Employees lose none of their rights under the program,
and Oregon OSHA will still investigate accidents, valid
formal complaints and chemical spills. Oregon's Voluntary
Protection Program recognizes and promotes effective safety
and health management. The VPP concept recognizes that
enforcement alone can never fully achieve the objectives
of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
For more information about G-P Philomath, contact Melodie
Ruse at Georgia-Pacific Corporation, 404- 652-4747. If
you have questions regarding the VPP, please contact the
Oregon OSHA VPP coordinator, Mark E. Hurliman at 503-947-7437,
or toll free in Oregon at 1-800-922-2689. Information is
also available on line at www.orosha.org.
Click on "Grants/Programs" and then the VPP Program