SFPA Announces 2021 Safety Awards

2021 safety awards

From left: 2021 John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Awards recipients Stephen Peskar and Charity Meyers (Weyerhaeuser), Will Lampe (Lampe & Malphrus Lumber Company), Scott Vande Linde (West Fraser), and Ricky Wages and Rhonda Owen (LaSalle Lumber Company).

As we all know, maintaining a safe workplace is a difficult task, especially in a sawmill. That’s why the Southern Forest Products Association started recognizing facilities that have outstanding safety records beginning with the 2002 Sawmill Safety Awards.

The 2021 awards look a little different, as this year’s recipients were the first to receive this award under its new name – The John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Awards – at SFPA’s annual meeting October 19-21, 2022 in Nashville.

The SFPA Safety Awards embody the impact, dedication and legacy of John Edgar Rhodes, one of the lumber industry’s most revered and celebrated leaders. He had a successful career in forestry, serving as secretary-manager of the Southern Pine Association from our founding in 1915 until his death in 1923.

Under John’s leadership, the SPA grew into the model trade association in American industry. He was a strong advocate for forestry, helping lead the forestry movement in the South, Minnesota and the Great Lakes states. The John Edgar Rhodes Sawmill Safety Excellence Awards honor this legacy and impact on the forestry industry.

Operating safely continued to be more difficult than normal last year as we faced the ongoing challenges from COVID, increased lumber demand, and record-setting inflation just to name a few!

SFPA lumber manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year.

Seven SFPA member mills achieved this feat in 2021. For 2021, 43 mills responded to the Safety Award survey, representing 13,718,827 total hours worked. The 2021 award recipients, meanwhile, represent 1,703,399 total hours worked among 766 employees with zero reportable incidences among them. They are broken down into three divisions:

Division One (SFPA member mills that produce 50 million board feet or less annually)

  • Weyerhaeuser Company in Zwolle, Louisiana. This is the sixth time the Weyerhaeuser facility in Zwolle, has earned this achievement.

Division Two (SFPA member facilities that produce 51 to 150 million board feet annually)

  • Lampe & Malphrus Lumber Company in Smithfield, North Carolina. This is the third time Lampe & Malphrus has received this award.
  • West Fraser‘s Fitzgerald, Georgia, facility, which is a first-time honoree.
  • West Fraser‘s Whitehouse, Florida, location, which received its second award in this division.

Division Three (SFPA member mills that produce more than 150 million board feet annually)