Southern Forest Products Association announces safety award recipients

Southern Forest Products Association
From left: 2021 John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Awards recipients Stephen Peskar and Charity Meyers (Weyerhaeuser), Will Lampe (Lampe & Malphrus Lumber Company), Scott Vande Linde (West Fraser), and Ricky Wages and Rhonda Owen (LaSalle Lumber Company).

The Southern Forest Products Association presented seven sawmills with the John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Award at its annual meeting in Nashville on October 20.

SFPA lumber manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year Division II includes facilities that produce between 51 and 150 million board feet annually.

This year’s results included reports from 43 mills that recorded nearly 14 million employee hours. The seven recipients this year represented 1.7 million total hours worked among 766 employees with zero reportable incidences among them. Recipients include:

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Division One (SFPA member mills that produce 50 million board feet or less annually)

  • Weyerhaeuser Company in Zwolle, Louisiana. This is the sixth time the Weyerhaeuser facility in Zwolle, has earned this achievement.

Division Two (SFPA member facilities that produce 51 to 150 million board feet annually)

  • Lampe & Malphrus Lumber Company in Smithfield, North Carolina. This is the third time Lampe & Malphrus has received this award.
  • West Fraser’s Fitzgerald, Georgia, facility, which is a first-time honoree.
  • West Fraser‘s Whitehouse, Florida, location, which received its second award in this division.

Division Three (SFPA member mills that produce more than 150 million board feet annually)

  • LaSalle Lumber Company in Urania, Louisiana. This is LaSalle’s first award.
  • West Fraser’s Opelika, Alabama location. This is their third recognition.
  • Weyerhaeuser’s Idabel, Oklahoma, sawmill, which received its fourth award.

“Safety is important in all businesses, and the sawmill business is no different,” said SFPA Executive Director Eric Gee. “We are proud of our members’ achievements and commend them for striving to make their workplace a safe environment.”

The SFPA renamed its Sawmill Safety Awards, which launched in 2002, in 2022 in honor of John Edgar Rhodes, one of the lumber industry’s most revered and celebrated leaders. He had a successful career in forestry, serving as secretary-manager of the Southern Pine Association from its founding in 1915 until his death in 1923.Under John’s leadership, the SPA grew into the model trade association in American industry. He was a strong advocate for forestry, helping lead the forestry movement in the South, Minnesota and the Great Lakes states. The John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Awards honor this legacy and impact on the forestry industry.

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