Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
|For Immediate Release:
September 5, 2007
|Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428
Weyerhaeuser Springfield joins workplace safety excellence program
No serious injuries at log sorting operation in over seven years
A Springfield wood-products producer can count itself among a select group
of worksites across the state recognized for safety and health excellence.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and
Health Division (Oregon OSHA) today presented "VPP Merit Award"
status to Weyerhaeuser's Springfield TOPS wood-products facility. The Voluntary
Protection Program (VPP) is a workplace safety and health management program
that encourages employers to voluntarily meet rigorous workplace safety standards
to protect workers and reduce injuries. Currently, 16 Oregon worksites participate
No employees have been seriously injured during the four-year evaluation
period leading to the VPP designation; the last time a Springfield TOPS employee
was seriously injured on the job was 1999. Springfield TOPS employs 18 workers
fulltime, sorting and scaling whole logs for use in Weyerhaeuser's wood-products
"Creating a zero-injury culture requires a shared commitment by employees
and management," said Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon OSHA. "Merit
status demonstrates that the employer and workers have become largely self-sufficient
in pursuing their workplace health and safety. The VPP program provides employers
with a blueprint for success, and when we work together we can accomplish
incredible things to make workplaces safer."
To achieve VPP status, a worksite must have a three-year average injury and
illness rate at or below the rates of other employers in the same industry.
The worksite undergoes an extensive Oregon OSHA review of workplace conditions,
safety records, employee safety and health programs, and regulatory compliance.
The review includes Oregon OSHA interviews with employees.
Oregon OSHA has maintained a lengthy proactive relationship with the Weyerhaeuser
facility. Springfield TOPS qualified for membership in Oregon OSHA's Safety
and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2001 and graduated from
SHARP in 2006.
Evaluators review 19 program elements during the VPP approval process, including
management commitment to safety and health, employee participation in safety,
workplace self-inspection, providing safety and health training, emergency
programs and drills, and preventive maintenance. VPP participants are removed
from Oregon OSHA's routine scheduled inspection list for the duration of their
participation. Employees do not lose any rights under the program. Oregon
OSHA still investigates accidents, formal complaints, and chemical spills.
Fourteen worksites are members of Oregon OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program.
Additional Oregon OSHA VPP sites are AmeriTies West LLC in The Dalles, BOC
Edwards Medford Electronic Materials in White City, GE Security in Tualatin,
Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill, Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill,
Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill, iLevel by Weyerhaeuser Beaverton Service Center,
Marvin Wood Products in Baker City, Masterbrand Cabinets in Hillsboro, PW
Eagle in Eugene, Stanley Hydraulic Tools in Milwaukie, Timber Products Spectrum
Division in White City, and Utility Vault in Wilsonville.
Two federal facilities in Oregon, the United States Postal Service Evergreen
DCU in Hillsboro and Washington Group International in Umatilla, participate
in the national Voluntary Protection Program coordinated by the U.S. Occupational
Safety and Health Administration.
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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer & Business Services, enforces the states workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all
Oregon workers. For more information, go to www.orosha.org.
The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregons largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.