Alta Mill boasts one year accident free

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The Alta Mill boasts one year accident free for all depart-ments. Photo by MANDI BATEMAN

NAPLES — Alta Forest Products, located in Naples, has reached the achievement of one year completely accident free. This is the first time that the company has reached this goal at the Naples facility, and the second time for any Alta facility, company wide.

At the mill, there are three main departments: day shift production, swing shift production, and the maintenance crew. Each department, and the facility as a whole, has achieved the accomplishment of one year accident free, which also represents the first time that all three departments have worked as a whole to remain accident free.

“I can’t say how proud I am of our employees,” said Jeremy Dineen, safety and human resources manager at Alta, Naples. “An achievement like this comes from each employee being dedicated to making safe decisions. This award was one that was earned by every single one of our 130 employees.”

Throughout the years of logging and sawmill work, those working in the field have seen their fair share of accidents, from a cut to a missing limb. The Alta Forest Products, LLC, mill facility has their team of people working together in order to accomplish the goal of being one year accident free.

“Mill environments are potentially very hazardous places,” said Dineen. “Processing wood requires large machinery, saws, and chain ways that could cause serious injury to people who use them improperly.”

With heavy machinery, there comes training in order for the operator to understand the dangers, acknowledge the risks, and undergo the proper safety procedures in order for them to perform the job properly.

“Historically, sawmills have produced not only a high number of work related accidents, but also some of the most severe,” stated Dineen. “For an entire mill of close to 120 people to go for a full year without a single recordable accident demonstrates a strong commitment to safety — from those in upper management all the way to the new employee who has just completed his safety orientation.”

Each department has independently achieved accident-free goals, but this is the first for the facility as a whole.

“This is the first time that the Naples Mill has gone 365 days with no accidents from any department,” stated Dineen. “This means that every employee in the mill has worked to make this accomplishment happen.”

Speaking about the programs that the company utilizes to teach the employees safety, they mentioned a program that they call the ‘Yellow Sheet.’ This form is readily available to every employee and offers an opportunity to bring up safety issues to the management teams to address.

“These forms, once filled out, are investigated by the Safety Committee and solutions are developed to address any unsafe conditions that are discovered,” said Dineen. “The Yellow Sheets give employees an avenue by which they can communicate directly with management in order to get workplace issues addressed. This direct line of communication has led to hundreds of potentially unsafe conditions to be discovered and eliminated before someone has gotten hurt.”

The Rusty Moose catered a celebratory dinner on April 30 for the team with prizes included. The prizes are a choice of a backpack, a Leatherman multi-tool, a coat, or a Buck knife.

With the variety of potential scenarios that could be detrimental to the health and welfare of an employee, the team has continued to put safety first, and in turn brought a team wide accomplishment.

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