Region 10 News Release: #00-207
Monday, November 20, 2000
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
OSHA ENTERS INTO PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH POTLATCH CORP. TO IMPROVE WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH IN THE LOGGING INDUSTRY
SEATTLE - The Potlatch Corporation in Lewiston, Idaho, and the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have agreed to a strategic partnership
aimed at improving worker safety and health in the logging industry.
Ryan Kuehmichel, OSHA area director in Idaho, and Mike McAllister, of the Potlatch Corp., formalized the agreement in a ceremony today at Potlatch Corp.'s office in Lewiston. Potlatch is the first timberland owner in Idaho to enter into a logging partnership agreement with OSHA.
According to Richard Terrill, OSHA regional administrator in Seattle, logging has traditionally been a dangerous occupation. The Logging Partnership Project was conceived as a way that government and the timber industry could work together to reduce the risks by ensuring that contract loggers had effective safety programs. "OSHA wanted Potlatch Corporation as our first partner because their safety and health management of contract loggers is outstanding," Terrill said.
The Potlatch Corp. proved to have the most effective management oversight of contract loggers in the area and has established an effective policy for dealing with noncomplying contractors. Hazards are also well documented and corrected immediately when found. The company has also promoted contract employee involvement by ensuring that contract employees are involved in safety meetings and site inspections.
Logging employers that practice sound safety and health management principles experience significant improvements in their safety performance. OSHA will consider logging partnerships with other industrial timberland owners who have created policies and processes to improve logging safety for their contract workforce.
As part of the agreement formalized today, Potlatch Corporation was evaluated on the following items: management commitment and leadership, assignment of responsibility for the contract logging companies, identification and control of hazards, training and education, recordkeeping and hazard analysis, first aid and medical assistance, hazard communication program and energy control program lockout/tagout.
Editor's Note: For further information, contact the OSHA Area Office in Boise at 208-321-2960.