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Jan. 22, 2004

Shelton lumber company recognized for worker safety and health efforts

TUMWATER - Welco Lumber Co.’s Shelton mill will be recognized by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Friday, Jan. 23, for its exemplary safety and health program.

The western red cedar mill’s Shelton site has been named a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) worksite. This status is based on leadership and commitment, extensive employee participation, an ongoing safety and health improvement program, and on successfully passing an L&I audit and on-site review. Welco joins an exclusive club of just eight Washington worksites that have earned VPP recognition. Nationally, about 1,050 companies meet VPP standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Welco has 109 workers at its Shelton site, where they manufacture bevel siding and fencing. Operations include planing, resawing and splitting boards, and processing mill logs into fencing. The work includes hazards from machinery with moving parts, thermal and energy hazards, dust, confined-space hazards, high noise levels, fall hazards and hazardous chemicals. Despite the hazards, the company has developed and implemented processs and procedures to eliminate the hazards before they cause injuries, resulting in an excellent safety record.

The VPP recognition will be presented in a Friday ceremony. Participants include federal, state and local officials, as well as corporate executives and employees.

For more information on the VPP program, go to www.LNI.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/VPP.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov.
For Welco information: Lynn Fleming, 360-651-1500.

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