Georgia-Pacific's Beaver Creek Facility Receives State's Highest Safety and Health Award

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

August 14, 2007 - Georgia-Pacific Chemical's Beaver Creek facility received the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) Star Award today from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for workplace safety and health excellence. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the MVPP Star Award to plant representatives, who accepted on behalf of all employees. Corporate executives, state and local elected officials, and invited guests were on hand to congratulate employees and management on their outstanding achievement.

"We are pleased to welcome Georgia-Pacific's Beaver Creek facility into this exclusive group of companies who work diligently to protect their workers," said Kalinowski. "Your outstanding safety and health record sends a strong message to all employers that safety pays."

This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. MIOSHA established the MVPP program in 1996 to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. Since 1999, Michigan has recognized 21 MVPP Star companies. This is the second Georgia-Pacific facility to receive the Star Award in Michigan.

"I'm extremely proud of the employees and safety team members here at Beaver Creek," said Steve Randall, Georgia-Pacific plant manager. "Their effort and total commitment to this VPP program have been recognized and rewarded."

The incidence rates at the Beaver Creek facility are well below the industry average for their NAICS code 32521 − Resin and Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 0.0 in 2004, 2005, and 2006-compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 3.5 in 2004, and 3.3 in 2005 and 2006. The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2004, 2005, and 2006-compared to the BLS industry average of 1.8 in 2004, and 2.2 in 2005 and 2006.

"National VPP sites experience 60 to 80 percent less lost work day injuries than would be expected of an average site in their industry," said Kalinowski. "Not only does the MVPP program significantly reduce injuries and illnesses-it also has a tremendous impact on the bottom line."

Georgia-Pacific Chemical's Beaver Creek plant employs 29 workers and specializes in manufacturing formaldehyde and resins used in building products and paper industries. The MIOSHA review team conducted 12 formal and 10 informal interviews during the site visit. The team examined each of the required elements of their safety and health management system, and found them to effectively address the scope and complexity of the hazards at the site.

Georgia-Pacific's highest priorities are protecting and sustaining the safety and health of their employees, their communities and the environment. All employees are expected to follow safe work practices to ensure their own safety as well as the safety of their fellow employees. From providing training and implementing a global safety program, to having management support and employee-led safety councils, Georgia-Pacific is moving closer to their goal of zero injuries and zero incidents.

Areas of excellence include: 

  • All employees are accountable for following safety and health rules, and are required to participate in safety and health meetings. 
  • An FSAP (Facility Safety Action Plan) lists plant goals and objectives and is updated quarterly. Safety/health goals are reviewed monthly during safety meetings and quarterly by site management and corporate management. 
  • The site falls under the Process Safety Management standard and follows all pre-use and modification changes (PHA, MOC, and PSSR) as required. 
  • Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) is used with all processes and work activities throughout the plant. They perform (JHAs) on a regular basis, and also have all contractors perform them. 
  • Walk-around inspections are conducted monthly and checklists are used to document and track these inspections and notify employees. 
  • Regular training is provided using both computer-based training and personal safety training classes. 
  • The site has excellent housekeeping.

Georgia-Pacific's corporate dedication and commitment to health and safety excellence is exemplified by their many facilities that have achieved Star status in federal OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). To date, Georgia-Pacific has 75 certified VPP sites, and in 2004 was named OSHA's very first corporate VPP member.

Headquartered at Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, paper, building products and related chemicals. With 2004 annual sales of approximately $20 billion, the company employs approximately 55,000 people at more than 300 locations in North America and Europe. Its familiar consumer tissue brands include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, Sparkle®, Soft 'n Gentle®, Mardi Gras®, So-Dri®, Green Forest® and Vanity Fair®, as well as the Dixie® brand of disposable cups, plates and cutlery. Georgia-Pacific's building products manufacturing business has long been among the nation's leading supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers. For more information, visit www.gp.com.