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Chester Engineered Wood wins first place APA Safety & Health Award

Roseburg's "Zero to the Core" logo

Congratulations to Roseburg’s Chester Engineered Wood plant on winning the American Plywood Association (APA) Annual Safety and Health Award for 2021, and for joining its Incident Free Honor Society.

APA posted a complete list of the 2021 Award Winners on along with its comprehensive Industry Survey for 2021.

How does the APA awards program work?

Each year, the APA conducts an industry-wide Safety Survey of member and non-member mills. Mills that participate in the survey report their recordable, restricted work, lost time and fatality incidents, and hours worked to APA each calendar year by submitting their annual OSHA 300A Log.

The restricted work, lost time, fatality, and other recordable incidences for each mill are used to calculate a Weighted Incident Rate (WIR) for each mill.

An annual report then sent to each participating mill, and provides benchmarking data to compare individual mill performance to the industry as a whole. Chester Engineered Wood had the lowest WIR out of all the mills in their product category.

Based on the WIR and other criteria, APA member mills are eligible to win the following APA Awards in Divisions I, II, or III: Divisional Awards, Innovation in Safety Award, Safest Company Awards, and Incident Free Honor Society.

Aerial photo of the Chester, SC, engineered wood plant

CEW won the Divisional Award for Annual Safety & Health in First Place for Division III (glulam, SCL, CLT and I-joist mills). On top of the Safety & Health award, CEW’s 0 WIR score resulted in addition to the Incident Free Honor Roll.

Hear from Roseburg team members on what initiatives the plants prioritized in 2021 to achieve this:

“The team at Chester Engineered Wood has really worked hard and made many strides in Safety—especially since start-up in late 2019. The Safety Committee continues to improve and mature, and has just completed OSHA 10 training for all Safety Committee members. Plant and Safety leadership has done an excellent job in helping lead the way in the transition from start-up, and I expect good things to come in the future for Chester Engineered Wood as they continue to strive towards and maintain an incident-free workplace. The APA Safety Award reflects the efforts from the team at Chester and is exciting to see.”
— Wade Ratcliff, Eastern Regional Safety Manager

”Our Chester Engineered Wood team has done outstanding work on enhancing our safety practices this past year. Lots of targeted hard work went into making improvements that address specific concerns across the entire plant. We are grateful for the strong leadership and teamwork that has overcome many challenges to help us reach this goal, and for distinguished accolades such as this APA Award that recognize our efforts.”
— Mike Henry, CEW Plant Manager

One specific project was improving the laser plane that LVL panels go through on the inspection deck. To eliminate the hazard of overloading the disconnect, the laser plane now shuts off every time it’s broken. Said Willie Mae Brown, team member and safety committee member who was on the inspection deck before and after this project was put in place:

“The project saved a lot of time on the inspection deck. I was there when the project was done and when OSHA visited to ensure that the safety of the project was an adequate change. It made the process a lot better.”

Roseburg frequently receives innovation awards due to the creativity and efforts that our plants put into solving safety challenges. As we continue on our safety journey, more and more of our manufacturing plants are achieving injury-free results from organizations like the APA and CPA (Composite Panel Association) year after year.

Roseburg just had the safest first half of a year on record company-wide. With the guiding principle of becoming 100% injury-free, our teams are going above and beyond to set Roseburg apart in our industry.

Congratulations to Chester Engineered Wood on their important achievement! See more about Roseburg’s Core Values here.