West Fraser’s Opelika Mill Receives Safety Award

Pictured (from left to right): Craig Forbes, director of Lumber Sales – the Weyerhaeuser Company and board chairman of the Southern Forest Products Association; Chuck Watkins, vice president of Capital and Technology, West Fraser Inc.; Eric Gee, executive director of the Southern Forest Products Association. PHOTO BY Robb Cohen Photography & Video

Contributed By
Southern Forest
Products Association

The West Fraser Inc. sawmill in Opelika is the recipient of the 2020 Sawmill Safety Award in Division III, presented by the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). 

For the second year in a row, the Opelika facility maintained a perfect safety record during all of 2020, with no lost-time occupational injuries or illnesses.

SFPA Lumber Manufacturer members are considered for the award based on information submitted regarding occupational injuries and illnesses.

The results for 2020 included reports from 43 mills that recorded nearly 14 million employee hours. Safety performance is judged by how each mill’s safety record stacks up against facilities with comparable lumber output throughout the year.

Division III covers facilities that produce over 150 million board feet of Southern Pine lumber annually.

The Opelika operation joined three other sawmills, all Lumber Manufacturer members of the Southern Forest Products Association, that received awards this year recognizing outstanding safety records during 2020. 

“Safety is important in all business, and the sawmill business is no different,” said SFPA Executive Director Eric Gee. “We are proud that West Fraser’s Opelika mill had zero recordable incidences in 2020 and commend them for striving to make their workplace a safe environment.”

The award was presented during a brief, in-person ceremony at the Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition on Aug. 12 in Atlanta, Georgia. Chuck Watkins, Vice President of Capital and Technology for West Fraser accepted the award on the mill’s behalf.


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