Wood and Mechanical Fiber department awarded UPM Blandin annual safety department award

​(Grand Rapids, MN, March 24, 2014)  UPM Blandin recently awarded the employees in the Wood and Mechanical Fiber (WMF) department with the annual safety department award for achieving the greatest safety accomplishments in 2014.

The purpose of this award is to promote and recognize one department each year that has excelled in safety.  All departments within Blandin are eligible for the traveling safety trophy which is displayed in the department during the year, until the next winner is selected.

“Receiving this safety award recognizes our exceptional safety performance in 2014,” said Jeff Bauman, Pulpmill Manager.  “It is extremely satisfying to see how far we have come.   While our department is the recipient of the award this year we could not make safety improvements without a lot of support from around the mill especially maintenance, engineering and the safety department.”

Department managers submitted a nomination package in early December highlighting their department's accomplishments in safety including:
• Significant safety improvements
• Physical improvements
• Procedural improvements
• Accountability Scores
• An Increased level of hourly participation within safety
• Other safety initiatives or accomplishments within the department

Award applications were submitted to the Blandin Safety Advisory Team (SAT) who selected one department which they feel had the greatest safety accomplishments and recommended them to the Management Team.

“During the year we worked together to identify opportunities to improve safety in our work areas.  The addition of a floor hatch to access our pulp chests has improved housekeeping and added an emergency rescue system. This idea came from an employee, and with the help of our engineering department, we have reduced the risk of fire in the area,” said Bauman. 

Ron Meyer, PGW Shift Coordinator, designed and built the safety award travelling trophy. The trophy illustrates the three key areas - safety, quality and production.  The order of those is significant because it places safety at the top reflecting the changing of our culture and our understanding that safety is first for every one of us, in everything we do.

“This award highlights the culture change we have had – we hold each other accountable for our decisions and we work together to find ways to do new things safely,” concluded Bauman. 

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