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July 7, 2009

Columbia Vista Corp. receives workplace-safety recognition

TUMWATER – The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is awarding a prestigious workplace-safety award to Columbia Vista Corp. in Vancouver.

The award is part of L&I’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which has recertified the Vancouver company as a STAR site. The designation means that the facility has continued to reach the highest level of workplace safety. It recognizes the company’s management and employee commitment and participation in an ongoing safety and health program, and means it successfully passed an L&I audit and extensive onsite review.

“The safety of our workforce is a top priority at Columbia Vista,” said Robert Lewis, president. “On behalf of our employees, we are honored by this award because it recognizes their ongoing commitment and dedication to a safe workplace.” Columbia Vista has 92 employees working at two Clark County facilities: a mill located along the Columbia River, and a dry kiln remanufacturing plant located in the Fruit Valley area.

“The fact that Columbia Vista has been recertified at the STAR-level clearly indicates the company’s firm commitment to safety,” said L&I Director Judy Schurke. “Their dedication to safety, and their partnership between management and employees, is a model for other businesses and industries in our state.”

This was the company’s first re-evaluation since its initial VPP approval in 2005. Only 2,000 work sites, out of more than seven million nationwide, have received a VPP award. The program is run by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but administered in Washington by L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. In Washington, 28 companies have achieved the VPP STAR-level award.

Columbia Vista is a privately owned corporation. The mill produces over 60 million board feet of lumber on one shift schedule, and over 50 percent of all products are kiln dried.

John Geppert, L&I’s consultation, education and outreach program manager, will present a plaque and flag commemorating the VPP recertification award at a July 8 ceremony at the mill site.

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Media information: Xenofon Moniodis, L&I, 360-902-6458, or Devin Sanders, Columbia Vista, 360-892-0770, ext. 114

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