Innovations and Awards
Resolute Forest Products’ proactive approach to safety has given rise to a number of innovations and contributed to industry recognition.
From 2011 to 2013, the company recorded an average of 20 cuts per year, which accounted for more than 15% of our Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injuries. With the implementation of cutting tool policies and the gate-to-gate use of cut resistant gloves at all our operations, hand injuries from cut hazards have dropped to only one incident in 2014 and zero incidents in 2015.
Chemical Protective Suits
Our policy governing the use of chemical protective suits has reduced chemical splash injuries substantially since 2012. The suits, however, can be uncomfortably hot and can sometimes lead to user heatstroke. Our Calhoun (Tennessee) and Kénogami (Quebec) mills worked with suppliers in 2014 to design more comfortable protective clothing made of a breathable fabric that prevents penetration by a variety of chemicals.
Requiring the use of protective gear only prevents injuries when that gear performs under pressure. As working conditions vary from industry to industry, the chemical safety suit developed by Resolute employees is specifically designed for the risks associated with North American pulp and paper mills. From extra-long sleeves to keep outstretched arms covered, to extra padding on the knees and elbows, these suits were adapted for specific mill-related working requirements. For more information on how the suit was tested and produced, read our blog post on designing a chemical protective suit.
The previous disposable suits had an average lifespan of only a few days and a total annual cost of about $2 million. The new suits have a lifespan of about one year and reduce the company’s expenditure by about 85%. The new protective gear also provides unquantifiable, yet tangible benefits, including greater protection against both heat and chemicals, more specifically all chemicals used at our facilities. Having only one suit effective in all situations eliminates human error in selecting the appropriate gear for each task. Also, the comfort and breathability of the suits provides a dramatically higher quality of work environment and reduces worker fatigue significantly.
Beyond its positive impact at our operations, other forest products companies are adopting these suits as their benefits in the industry become more widely known.
Our proactive leadership and commitment to safety has garnered extensive external recognition.
- Resolute and our Kénogami and Calhoun mill employees received the ADRIQ Innovation Award as well as the PAPTAC Safety Leadership Award for developing a safer, more comfortable and eco-friendly chemical protective suit.
- Our Resolute-LP Larouche and Saint-Prime (Quebec) joint-venture engineered wood facilities were honored by APA–The Engineered Wood Association with a Safest Company Award, having been injury-free for over six and eight years, respectively.
At Resolute, safety and community relations go hand-in-hand. Through our Board of Directors Safety Award program, Resolute operations can earn $5,000 to add to their annual community donations for every 250,000 hours worked without a recordable injury. In 2016, we distributed nearly $190,000 in donations to charities chosen by our employees, who contributed to the company’s outstanding safety performance during the year:
- Our Thorold (Ontario) newsprint mill achieved 1.25 million consecutive operating hours without a single recordable injury, while our Grenada (Mississippi) newsprint mill celebrated 1 million incident-free hours.
- Nearly 20 of our other operations reached important milestones of 250,000, 500,000 or 750,000 hours without a recordable injury.