People are at the heart of our industry. To keep them safe, AF&PA’s members know safety is not just a goal, it’s a mindset.
AF&PA member Resolute Forest Products knows this all too well. David Marshall, Resolute’s Director of Sustainability & Public Affairs, spoke to us about what safety means to him and his company.
Marshall joined Resolute in 2017 and has a background in political science and urban planning. Throughout his career, he's acquired certifications that have helped him see the value in sharing safe practices and to appreciate how vital they are to our industry.
With safety on his mind, he knows his colleagues at Resolute have it on theirs too.
Resolute has some 7,000 employees and 40 facilities across North America, which means there are a lot of people to account for when it comes to safety.
“Safety means everything to a forest products company like Resolute,” Marshall noted. “Our employees work in woodlands, sawmills and in manufacturing settings like pulp, paper and tissue mills. They are on the frontlines every day, and they are exposed to risks through physically demanding work.”
For Resolute, creating an injury-free workplace is at the heart of everything they do.
This is one of the reasons why they created their Board of Directors Safety Award program in 2008.
“The award was established to provide an additional incentive for Resolute employees to improve their safety performance – by directing donations to community organizations chosen by employees when major safety milestones are achieved,” Marshall said.
More than $2.5 million have been donated to local organizations in Resolute operating communities since they started tracking these contributions in 2010.
Resolute’s Menominee (Michigan) recycled pulp mill demonstrates the benefits of the Board of Directors Safety Award Program.
The mill reached 1.75 million hours without a single recordable incident, a milestone that represents a stretch of 8.5 years without incident.
“Our Board of Directors Safety Award program granted the staff $15,000 to be donated to a local charity. The employees chose to sponsor St. Vincent De Paul’s backpack program, an initiative that provides backpacks to The First Responders Children’s Foundation, which helps support children in need within the community,” Marshall said.
Along with their safety program, Resolute has created safety pillars to help drive focus on health and safety across their operations. The pillars include:
- One-on-one safety commitment discussions to reinforce expectations that employees work safely.
- Hazard recognition, which is performed prior to undertaking any task, allowing employees to evaluate, control or halt a hazardous task, while greatly reducing the potential for injury.
- Near-miss reporting that engages employees in the company’s health and safety processes, while providing site management teams with risk recognition data that is used to maintain the daily proactive mindset that prevents injuries.
With these pillars and incentives, Resolute is protecting their greatest asset: their people.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recycle resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative—Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $60 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.