Pictured, from left: Terry Hughes, Kingsport mill safety manager; Keith Kiker, Kingsport mill union president; Bill MacPherson, Kingsport mill manager; James Flanagan, assistant administrator for Tennessee OSHA; and David Blessman, volunteer STAR Recognition Program manager.
Montreal-based papermaker Domtar has announced its Kingsport, Tennessee, paper mill has been awarded the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) Governor’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety.
The safety award recognizes outstanding achievement in employer-employee safety programs for the prevention of workplace injury. As part of its qualification criteria, Domtar’s Kingsport mill had to accumulate 1 million hours worked without a lost-time or restricted-duty incident.
While this is the first public recognition for the Kingsport mill, Bill MacPherson, manager of the mill, says it has achieved the 1-million-hour milestone several times in the past.
“Safety is a core value at Domtar, and we’re proud that TOSHA has recognized our efforts in this way,” MacPherson says. “We’re grateful to say that while this is the first time our Kingsport mill has been publicly recognized, thanks to our employees, the 1-million-hour milestone has been reached multiple times in the past by both the Kingsport mill and by our Ridgefields converting facility.”
Guests and speakers at the Nov. 8 event awarding the Kingsport mill included James Flanagan, assistant administrator for TOSHA; David Blessman, Volunteer STAR Recognition Program manager; and Randy Cassell, president of Kingsport’s safety council, among others.
“Domtar’s Kingsport mill has demonstrated a strong commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace,” says Flanagan, who presented the Governor’s Award of Excellence. “The evaluation criteria for this award are challenging, and this company has worked extremely hard to meet and exceed the standards the award requires.”
Domtar ranks as Kingsport’s third-largest manufacturing company, with approximately 400 employees at its mill and Ridgefields Converting facility.
“We’re very thankful for the dedication of our employees,” MacPherson says. “Milestones like these are possible because of their ongoing commitment to safety awareness.”
Domtar is a leading provider of a wide variety of fiber-based products, including communication, specialty and packaging papers, market pulp and absorbent hygiene products. The company has two corporate offices, one in Montreal and another in Fort Mill, South Carolina.