Adhering to World-class Safety Standards
Safety is integrated into every facet of our work, and we adhere to world-class safety standards at all of our operations. We are subject to US and Canadian occupational safety laws, and audit mills annually to measure and improve performance.
We view safety as a shared responsibility. Managers and supervisors are accountable for providing a safe work environment, training, and endorsing safe work practices. Employees and contractors are accountable for understanding and following safe work practices, reporting unsafe acts and conditions, and arriving for work fit and capable to perform their jobs safely and effectively.
Safety committees allow worker and management representatives to work together to proactively identify and resolve health and safety issues. For example, the safety steering committee in our mill in Swainsboro, GA, developed a safety plan for a large kiln upgrade project, which was completed without incident.
Interfor’s Board of Directors has an Environment & Safety Committee that ensures we comply with good safety practices. Committee members review safety issues regularly, and hold management accountable for the completion of new initiatives and providing and enforcing safe work practices.
We participate in the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Programs. Following rigorous third-party onsite evaluations, our mill in Meldrim, GA, earned a star rating for exemplary achievement and continuous improvement of safety and health management systems.
In BC, Interfor’s operations have earned WorkSafeBC’s certificate of recognition for our commitment to continual improvement in safety. To maintain the certificates, our mills go through annual third-party maintenance audits as well as extensive internal audits conducted by employees with significant operational experience.
We are an active member of the BC Forest Safety Council, a not-for-profit society that works with forest sector employers, workers, unions, contractors and the BC government to help industry implement the changes needed to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in woodlands and manufacturing operations. All BC operations are SAFE certified through the Council.
2017 achievements and actions
- Our medical incident rate in 2017 was 2.2, a steady improvement year-over-year. The Adams Lake and Castlegar Divisions went more than one year without a recorded safety incident. Cedarprime in the US Northwest went 336 days with zero recordable injuries by focusing on ergonomics, formal safety observations, first aid drills, pedestrian/mobile equipment interface, and an interactive safety orientation for new hires.
Medical Incident Rate (MIR)
- We have zero tolerance for on-the-job drug or alcohol use. All employees and contractors are expected to report fit for duty and remain so throughout their work day or shift, free of any negative impacts due to the use of alcohol, drugs or any other mood-altering substances. Interfor was the first licensee in BC to require that all contractors are subjected to testing after an incident or if impairment indicators were present.
“Implementing a drug and alcohol policy makes a material difference in the health and safety of our workers. A testing program is a huge deterrent and helps employees make better decisions.” – Lana Kurz, drug and alcohol program administrator, Canadian operations
- Operations across the Company are taking a proactive approach to safety.
- Safety expert and renowned outdoor adventurer Bruce Kirby coached employees in Castlegar on ideas and actions to implement a healthy, proactive attitude about safety as a behavior choice.
- Grand Forks mill delivered safety training, including fall arrest, forklift and confined space training, as well as Employee & Family Assistance committee coaching.
- In our US Northwest stud mills – Longview, Molalla and Port Angeles – employees completed hand injury awareness training, as well as slip, trip and fall training with an emphasis on winter conditions.
- In our US South mill in Georgetown, we anchored the hot work process to prevent fire starts, and quick extinguishment through improved worker accountability and housekeeping standards.
- Our US South operations launched a new onboarding process that among other things, ensures that new and young employees receive comprehensive training and mentorship over a period of six months to prepare them for taking on a new assignment and operating equipment safely.
- In Oregon, mills in Molalla and Gilchrist earned SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) Alliance recognition for their safety performance.
- Interfor’s third annual Canadian Manufacturing Safety Committee Summit brought together safety leaders from five BC manufacturing divisions to focus on safety culture and set new targets
“These summits increase front-line engagement and ownership of safety. I’m seeing increased engagement year over year, and our everyday focus on safety makes me extremely proud.” – Andrew Horahan, Vice President, Northwest Operations
- We hosted fatigue awareness training seminars for log haulers, and are working with the BC Forest Safety Council’s Trucking and Harvesting Advisory Group to help develop fatigue management best practices.
- In the BC Interior, we are improving worker safety and decreasing hand falling exposure as part of the Steep Slope Initiative led by FPInnovations to overcome the challenges and risks of mechanical harvesting on steep slopes.
Internal and external oversight
- Interfor Board of Directors Environment & Safety Committee
- BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
- Part 26 Forestry Operations and Similar Activities
- Part 27 Wood Products Manufacturing
- BC Workers Compensation Act
- The BC Fire Code
- 2.8 Emergency Planning
- 184.108.40.206 Hazardous Locations
- 5.3 Dust Producing Processes
- WorkSafeBC certificates of recognition
- BC Forest Safety Council SAFE Companies
- US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- OSHA Law & Regulations
- OSHA Wood Products
- OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs
- Oregon OSHA
- Oregon Safe Employment Act
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries
- Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act
- South Carolina OSHA