Worker safety continues to be a top priority for AF&PA members. Their commitment to safety is demonstrated in a variety of ways: through worker training programs, increased automation, adopting a host of injury-preventive measures and safeguards, and developing new equipment to keep workers safe. Because any injuries to our industry’s employees are not acceptable, AF&PA members adopted a visionary Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 goal of working towards zero injuries and measuring progress toward that vision by further improving our incidence rate by 25 percent from 2006 to 2020. Between 2006 and 2014, the incidence rate for member companies declined by 40.8 percent to 1.56. The 2014 incidence rate for manufacturing at large was 4.0 in 2014, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, more than double the rate of AF&PA members. (The incident rate measures the number of recordable cases for 100 people working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks.)
American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman today issued the following statement about the association filing a motion to intervene with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against Sierra Club’s challenge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.
“If the court forces EPA to lower of the ozone standard even more, projects to keep paper and wood products manufacturing facilities competitive could be halted, putting at risk countless high-paying jobs in rural America. The new standard at 70 parts per billion (ppb) is already precariously close to background levels in the environment. Lowering the ozone limit to 65 ppb or lower – as petitioners demand – would unnecessarily divert needed resources from more productive use and is not supported by the scientific evidence.”