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Oregon OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2007
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428

Weyerhaeuser joins workplace safety excellence program

Beaverton employer was serious-injury free in 2005

An Oregon wood-products manufacturer 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 Star Award" status to Weyerhaeuser’s iLevel Beaverton Customer Service Center. 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, 15 Oregon worksites participate in VPP.

"Membership in VPP requires a shared commitment to safety by employees and management," said Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon OSHA. "Star status demonstrates that the employer and workers have become largely self-sufficient in pursuing workplace health and safety. The program provides employers with a blueprint for success by working with Oregon OSHA, and when we work together we can accomplish incredible things to make workplaces safer."

During the past three years, the Beaverton iLevel Service Center has maintained an average for workplace injuries and illness with time lost from work that is 70 percent below the statewide industry average for lumber and plywood wholesalers. During nearly 250,000 hours of production, the Beaverton Service Center sustained only one injury that resulted in time lost from work. The facility had zero time-lost injuries in 2005.

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. The Beaverton Service Center qualified for membership in Oregon OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2000 and graduated from SHARP in 2005.

The Beaverton Service Center employs more than 30 people who sell, cut, package and ship specialized wood products to wholesale customers throughout the Pacific Northwest. The facility is part of iLevel, the wood products business of Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest forest products companies based in Federal Way, Wash.

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.

Thirteen 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 Philomath mill, Georgia-Pacific Coos Bay mill, 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.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest regulatory agency, administers state laws and rules, and protects consumers and workers in the areas of workers’ compensation, occupational safety and health, financial services, insurance, building codes, and targeted contracting opportunities for small business. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.