JASPER, Alta. – At its 75th annual general meeting and conference, the Alberta Forest Products Association recognized the achievements of its member companies, contractors, and employees. Awards were presented in several categories, including health and safety and lumber grading.

“Our industry has come so far when it comes to safety. We’re celebrating our 75th anniversary this year, and it is incredible to look at how practices have changed to the point where a workplace with no incidents is no longer a dream, but a reality in many cases,” said AFPA president and CEO Paul Whittaker.

The Health and Safety awards, co-sponsored by Alberta Labour, recognize superior performance in forest industry health and safety. Recipients are chosen based on criteria that include participation in the Partnerships in Injury Reduction program, audit results, and on-the-job performance.

Health and Safety Excellence (2016)

Company/Location Award Sector
La Crete Sawmills Ltd., La Crete Sawmill/Planer Mill (40,000 to 400,000 phw*)
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, Drayton Valley Sawmill/Planer Mill (more than 400,000 phw*)
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, Grande Prairie Pulp and Paper Mill
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, Edson Panelboard Mill
Pineridge Logging Inc., Whitecourt Woodlands Contractor
Next Generation Reforestation Ltd., Beaverlodge Silviculture Contractor

Outstanding Achievement in Health and Safety (2014 -2016)

Company/Location Award Sector
Northland Forest Products Ltd., Fort McMurray Sawmill/Planer Mill (40,000 to 400,000 phw*)
Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Grande Prairie Sawmill/Planer Mill (more than 400,000 phw*)
Slave Lake Pulp (Div. of West Fraser Mills), Slave Lake Pulp and Paper Mill
RangerBoard (Div. of West Fraser Mills), Blue Ridge Panelboard Mill
Coleman Forest Products Ltd., Sundre Woodlands Contractor
Infinite Forestry Consulting Ltd., Grande Prairie Silviculture Contractor
Dean Gordon Trucking Ltd., Edson Small Employer Woodlands or Silviculture Contractor
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (Timberland Operations) President’s Award for Health and Safety Performance 2014-2016
Bushmen Enterprises Ltd., Slave Lake Director’s Health and Safety Award

*phw is person hours worked

“The commitment of member companies and their employees to health and safety is remarkable,” said Carola von Sass, the AFPA’s director of health, safety and transportation. “It is extremely satisfying to know that people are returning safely to their families, every night, because of the work we are doing.”

Lumber grading awards
The Alberta Forest Products Association is the primary certification agency in Alberta, responsible for ensuring the quality control of each piece of stamped lumber originating from its members. Each year, the AFPA recognizes lumber graders that attain the highest certificate exam marks in three categories. The awards are for the highest marks achieved in the AFPA Lumber Grade Schools held in the fall 2016 and spring 2017.

In the novice category, Mark Bradford, Blue Ridge Lumber (Div. of West Fraser Mills), Blue Ridge, Alta., was the winner. Michelle Johnson of Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd., in Drayton Valley, won the grader category. Shawn Moulun of Weyerhaeuser Co. Ltd. in Grande Prairie, won the “AA” category.

Norm Dupuis, director of the AFPA’s Grade Bureau, congratulated the winners. “Lumber from Alberta goes all around the world. Our customers can be confident knowing that grading is carried out by people with exceptional skill and dedication to their craft.”

A lumber grade is the quality control standard seen on every piece of dimensional lumber, engineered wood applications, finger-joined and other glued lumber products. Lumber grading is linked to building codes, safety codes and CSA standards. Skilled employees at the mill site inspect and grade each piece of lumber produced.

Alberta’s forest products industry directly employs 19,600 people and creates employment for an additional 38,000 through its economic activity.