Resolute Forest Products’ proactive approach to safety has given rise to a number of innovations and contributed to our leadership position in the industry.
Safety Award Program
At Resolute, safety and community relations go hand-in-hand. Operations are recognized for achieving consecutive hours without a recordable injury, and achievements are recognized in increments of 250,000-hour milestones. Employees from accomplished sites receive a plaque of recognition from senior management, along with a monetary gift they donate to a local charity of their choice. By "paying it forward" to a deserving organization during formal presentations involving local and internal stakeholders, employees share their recognition with their community. Awards are presented to employees as follows: $5,000 for 250,000 hours; $10,000 for 500,000 hours and 750,000 hours; and $15,000 for one million hours.
In 2022, employees distributed $206,000 in donations to more than 60 charities thanks to their outstanding safety performance during the year, and since 2010, the company has donated $2.4 million through our Safety Award Program. We have set longer-term performance-driven targets for 2026 that include reaching 30 million hours without a recordable incident across company operations and donating at least $1 million to charitable community organizations through the program.
Our Menominee (Michigan) pulp mill surpassed two-million hours without a single recordable injury in December 2022 – the first of our operations to do so – despite dealing with a major 16-day fire in October. In recognition of their remarkable accomplishment spanning almost a decade, employees were granted $15,000 to contribute towards local charitable causes. To show appreciation for the 68 fire departments involved in fighting the fire, employees chose to contribute $3,000 to each of the five closest volunteer fire departments in the area.
From 2011 to 2013, the company recorded an average of 20 hand 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 mandatory wearing of cut-resistant gloves at all our facilities, hand injuries from cuts have dropped significantly, with only one incident reported in 2014, and none in 2015.
Chemical Protective Suits
Our policy governing the use of chemical protective suits reduced chemical splash injuries substantially beginning in 2012, but the suits can be uncomfortably hot and can sometimes lead to user heatstroke. Our Calhoun (Tennessee) and Kénogami (Quebec) mills worked with suppliers to design more comfortable protective clothing made of a breathable fabric that prevents penetration by a variety of chemicals.
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.
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 have garnered extensive external recognition:
- In 2022, our Resolute-LP – Larouche (Quebec) engineered wood facility won the Safest Company Award in its category (three or fewer mills) at the APA – The Engineered Wood Association’s 2021 Safety & Health Awards, and our Saint-Prime (Quebec) facility ranked second in its division for completing 2021 incident-free.
- Resolute won gold at the TITAN Business Awards for Safety & Environment Program of the Year.
- The Stevie® Awards for Great Employers awarded Resolute with a gold in the Achievement in Workplace Safety and Compliance category for our 2020 world-class safety performance.
- At the 18th Annual International Business Awards® competition, the company won gold for its Health, Safety & Environment Program of the Year (Canada and the U.S.A.).