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Aug. 19, 2005

Weyerhaeuser-Longview earns top safety and health recognition

TUMWATER — Weyerhaeuser and the company’s pulp and paper employees at Longview will be recognized by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) today for achieving excellence in workplace safety and health.

The honor is the state’s highest recognition for comprehensive and successful programs focused on occupational safety and health. The recognition marks a significant safety milestone in efforts that began seven years ago, when management and employees at Weyerhaeuser-Longview united to improve workplace health and safety as a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) worksite.

The honor to be bestowed today will confirm achievement of VPP Star Site status — an honor that only eight other companies in the state have achieved.

This program is sponsored by L&I to encourage and recognize excellence in occupational safety and health. Judy Schurke, L&I deputy director for operations, will present the special VPP Star Site flag as the highlight of today’s ceremony. The outdoor ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. on Industrial Way, adjacent to the Weyerhaeuser plant site at Longview.

"Earning the VPP Star is no simple achievement,” Schurke said. “It requires a cooperative and long-term commitment from company leaders, labor and employees, and the state. The VPP Star shows the community that the company is a leader in safety and health."

Schurke said her department identified Weyerhaeuser-Longview for the honor earlier this summer when the site passed an L&I audit and on-site review. Nationally, 1,337 companies have met VPP Star standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Weyerhaeuser employs more than 500 people at its pulp and paper production facilities at Longview. Hourly employees are represented by the Association of Western Pulp and Paperworkers, Local 580 and Local 633. Employees produce pulp and liquid packaging board, which is used for milk and juice cartons and other products.

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For media information: Steve Pierce, L&I, 360-902-5412 or piet235@LNI.wa.gov, or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.LNI.wa.gov/News.

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