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For Immediate Release
May 23, 2002
Contact Information:
Kevin Weeks, 503-947-7428
Toll-free in Oregon: 1-800-922-2689

Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill honored for worker safety record

- Georgia-Pacific’s Coos Bay Sawmill today was honored by Oregon OSHA for an exceptional safety record and an ongoing commitment to worker safety and health. 

Managers and staff of the Coos Bay mill received ‘VPP Merit Award’ status from the Oregon OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The Voluntary Protection Program is a national program that encourages companies to voluntarily meet rigorous workplace safety and health management standards to protect workers and reduce injuries, especially within industries that traditionally have a high injury or fatal incident rate.

“Georgia-Pacific’s Coos Bay mill has an injury lost-workday rate which is 75 percent lower than the industry average for wood products,” says Peter De Luca, administrator of Oregon OSHA. “That safety record is accomplished because every person at the mill makes a commitment to working safely.” The total rate for worker injuries of all types at the Coos Bay mill is 81 percent below the average for the entire industry. 

“In human terms, that means four more people at the Coos Bay mill did NOT miss work last year due to a serious injury who otherwise would have been injured,” says De Luca. “Ten additional people would have also experienced some sort of workplace injury. Those injuries would not have been prevented without Georgia-Pacific’s commitment to safety.”

 Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay is one of six VPP sites in Oregon. The additional VPP sites in Oregon are Kerr McGee Chemical LLC in The Dalles (VPP Star Award), Georgia-Pacific Toledo pulp and paper mill (VPP Star Award), Georgia-Pacific Philomath mill (VPP Star Award), Frito-Lay Beaverton cookie and pretzel plant (VPP Merit Award), and DPR Construction’s Lewis & Clark Campus Housing Project (VPP Merit Award).

 Oregon OSHA offers a variety of conferences, on-site training, educational resources and consultation services to help Oregon employers create safer workplaces and reduce the amount of productivity lost due to injuries which occur at work. Additional information and resources are available on Oregon OSHA’s website, www.orosha.org