Smurfit-Stone Facilities Win Honors From the Pulp & Paper Safety Association

Five Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. facilities received top honors and a total of 30 were recognized for their outstanding safety achievements at the Pulp & Paper Safety Association's (PPSA) 65th annual Safety and Health Conference. Smurfit-Stone was recognized by Occupational Hazards in 2004 as one of America's Safest Companies.

“Smurfit-Stone is extremely proud of its safety record and of the employees at these facilities,” said President and COO Steven J. Klinger. “We take great pride in our safety processes and continue to work toward our ultimate goal of achieving an accident-free workplace.”

Smurfit-Stone’s Hodge, La., mill and Williamsport, Pa., container plant earned the PPSA’s 2007 Award of Safety Excellence by achieving the best safety records in their categories for three consecutive years. The industry safety association presents only three awards in this category each year.

The Hodge mill is the first mill in company history to achieve 3 million hours worked without an OSHA recordable incident. The hours worked covered 815 days, or nearly two and a quarter years.

“The Hodge team continues to set new standards for our mill operations," said Klinger. “Its dedication to working safely and attentiveness to the well being of each member of the team exemplifies Smurfit-Stone’s ultimate goal to create an accident-free workplace.”

Klinger added that the Hodge team’s performance “is the result of our safety culture and the dedication of the people at this mill. We believe that an injury-free workplace is something that can be achieved, and they’ve proven it. Safety is not a program at Smurfit-Stone; it’s a way of life.”

Smurfit-Stone's Oakland, Calif., recycling plant and Homerville, Ga., sawmill were recognized with Best One-Year Safety Record awards for having the lowest incident rate in their categories in 2007 as defined by the standards set by OSHA. Both facilities completed the work year without a single OSHA recordable incident.

Smurfit-Stone’s St. Louis recycling plant received the Most Improved Award for showing the greatest improvement in its category over the previous 3 years. The plant had no reportable incidents or injuries in 2007.

The PPSA is a not-for-profit organization that has served as a resource to the pulp, paper, converting, recycling and forest products industry for more than six decades. It is the only industry association dedicated solely to safety and the improvement of safety performance.

Smurfit-Stone has led the major integrated companies in the pulp and paper industry in safety performance every year since 2001, demonstrating progressive year-over-year improvement.

Smurfit-Stone's operations worked more than 50 million hours in 2007 and finished the year with the lowest rate of injuries and lowest number of days lost due to occupational injuries and illnesses in company history.

The company decreased its rate of injuries and illnesses by nearly 10 percent compared to 2006, and reduced the number of days lost due to occupational injuries and illnesses by 48 percent.

"Our safety processes are something we work on every day," said Jerry Stuart, general manager at Hodge. "We have a mill with more than 600 people here who have made a commitment to themselves and to each other to do everything we do safely."

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