Canfor’s El Dorado Facility Re-Certified as an OSHA SHARP Site

Company: Canfor Southern Pine

Location: El Dorado, Arkansas

NAICS Code: 321213 - Engineered Wood Member (except Truss) Manufacturing

Employees: 65

Canfor's El Dorado Team El Dorado team gathered to promote SHARP and to recognize Canfor's safety first approach.

The El Dorado team gathered to promote SHARP and to recognize Canfor's safety first approach.

Canfor Southern Pine acquired Anthony Forest Products in 2015, and the operation produces engineered wood products, such as laminated beams, columns, and other glulam products, at its facility in El Dorado, Arkansas. The operations has an annual capacity of 30 million board feet (mmbf), and its products primarily serve the construction industry.

Employees handling wood and performing cutting, shaping, drilling, milling, and grinding operations in the wood manufacturing and processing industries are exposed to various safety and health hazards, ranging from injuries to other issues, such as inhaling wood dust and particles. Because manufacturing engineered wood products is an inherently high hazard industry, at Canfor safety comes first, and the company is always trying to improve its workplace safety and health environment, policies, and procedures.

Canfor Southern Pine learned about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, On-Site Consultation Program, while attending seminars through the National Safety Council and other state-sponsored safety programs. On-Site Consultation Program offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small and medium-sized businesses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories, with priority given to high hazard worksites. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies, such as the Arkansas Department of Labor (AR/DOL), OSHA Consultation Division or universities, work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.

Hayes Anthony EL Dorado Lam-Plant Manager

I have an historical perspective on this plant’s growth into SHARP participant status. It was an extremely proud day for the Anthony family business when all six of our U.S. manufacturing locations became SHARP certified. Knowing what I know now as the manager, I can truly feel the pride. Our people are the most valuable asset we have, and "We look out for each other" remains a part of our safety culture.

Continuing SHARP participation shows our employees that we take safety personally when it comes to protecting them and running a quality operation. The level of support we’ve had from the AR/DOL consultants helped us in time to continually improve our site and strengthen our safety culture.

In an effort to reduce workplace injuries and workers’ compensation costs, the company reached out to the AR/DOL, OSHA Consultation Division. During a 2001 walkthrough through the facility, the AR/DOL consultant identified housekeeping, machine guarding, lockout/tagout, and personal protective equipment (PPE) hazards. The operation corrected all of the identified hazards which included, but were not limited to, implementing engineering controls, safe work procedures, and PPE. Since the first consultation visit, the company has introduced a comprehensive Safety and Health Management System, invested in the workforce, improved employee involvement, and reinvested the cost savings into the operation to upgrade equipment.

Changing the culture of the workforce to get everyone to focus on safety at all times was a work in progress. Working with the AR/DOL, OSHA Consultation Division, benefited the company in a number of ways. In time, they improved the safety culture, enhanced employee involvement at all levels of the organization, and increased overall profitability through cost savings. Today, Canfor is achieving results by having a safer workplace and workforce, lower worker compensation costs, and positive recognition for safety in a high hazard industry.

Anthony Forest Products was initially accepted into the OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2002 and the operation remains an active SHARP participant under the Canfor brand. The most recent renewal was approved in 2019. To participate in SHARP, a company must have injury and illness rates below the national average and operate exemplary safety and health programs. From 2014 through 2017, Canfor’s total recordable case (TRC) rate averaged 3.68, and their days away, restricted, and transferred (DART) rate averaged 1.13. During this period for North American Industry Classification System code 321213, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the industry average TRC rate was 5.45, and the industry average DART rate was 3.58. [NOTE: 2017 is the last year the BLS injury and illness data are available. For 2018, the company's TRC rate was zero; their DART rate was zero.]

Several interviews were conducted by Clark Thomas, Project Manager, AR/DOL, OSHA Consultation Division, at Canfor. The employees stated the following:

  • The company has become a safe operation.
  • They have empowered the people to stop operations if there is a detected hazard.
  • The company provides in-house training and opportunities to attend off-site safety training.
  • All reported hazards are corrected in a timely manner, and feedback is given to the workers.
  • Management is visible in the work areas.
  • Supervisors stated that top management has made it a point to stress to never jeopardize safety for production.
  • The company always provides the necessary workplace safety and health resources.

On-Site Consultation and SHARP are voluntary programs. To locate the OSHA On-Site Consultation Program nearest you, call 800-321-OSHA (6742) or visit


Source: Kelly Olivier, Production Supervisor/Safety, Canfor Southern Pine