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August 21, 2007

L&I settlement agreement with Longview Fibre highlights workplace safety

TUMWATER — The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Inc., and the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers Union, Local 153, have agreed to settle a three-year appeal of workplace-safety violations issued after the death of 38-year-old Mark Greenland in January 2004.

The settlement agreement focuses on significant changes at the company, and a substantial commitment from the new owner and the union to work cooperatively to keep the workplace safe.

"This was a devastating event for the workers and the company, but we're gratified that the new owners and managers at Longview Fibre, in full cooperation with the union, are so dedicated to working with us to prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again," said Steve Cant, assistant director for L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

"In addition to our mutual commitment to keep our employees safe, Longview Fibre and our union worked collaboratively to dedicate $50,000 from the company for an educational fund for Mark Greenland’s children," said Frank McShane, chief operating officer for Longview Fibre.

The terms of the agreement include:

  • L&I will modify the seven violations from "willful" and "serious repeat" to "serious," with a total penalty of $201,900.
  • Longview Fibre agrees to pay the penalties, abate the cited violations, and dismiss its appeal of another citation issued in January 2007.
  • Longview Fibre agrees to establish a schedule for conducting comprehensive safety and health consultations, with the union fully involved.
  • Longview Fibre will work toward acceptance into the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), an L&I program for achieving excellence in workplace safety and health.
  • L&I will not schedule Longview Fibre for inspection for one year, although inspections may by initiated by complaints, injuries or a death.

"With all the uncertainty of working for new owners and management, one thing has become clear -- there's a new attitude and commitment toward safety," said Roger Fisher, president of the union local. "The union is grateful for the change."

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413.

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