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Week of 1 April 2019: Safety Record in the Pulp and Paper Industry

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If you stroll over to our site, PaperMoney, you will find we have been keeping meticulous records of safety foibles in our industry since 2017. This is found here.

For a long time, the industry has patted itself on the back for its safety record; perhaps we have had a small part in pulling it up by its leash on this subject. I do think the industry has gone from a time of poor safety performance (pre 1975 or so) to good safety performance (approximately 1975 to 1995) and now, in the last twenty-five years it has regressed somewhat.

In the book, "Personalities in the Pulp and Paper Industry", I talk about the fiduciary duties of boards of directors. I point out the you can look at how well they take care of the physical assets by looking at the conditions of the roofs of their facilities, which anyone can now see on Google Earth. I further point out that you can look at how they care for their brain trust, the employees, by looking at the safety record of their employees.

Our charts on PaperMoney, mentioned above, combine both of these and indicate the overall attitude of the board of directors for any company.

*** has hundreds of registrants! [03.01.19]


The reason safety records seem to be in decline are twofold. First, when the white paper and newsprint sides of the business went into decline, there simply was not enough money to do everything. Sadly, in those conditions, safety often suffers. Short term gain for long term pain. Second, pure investment owners (the equivalent of "house flippers" if you will), as contrasted to strategic owners, don't understand the business nor do they intend to be in it long enough to make long term investments. Their approach is slapping a little paint on it, mow the grass, and put a for sale sign in the front yard. Their safety record verifies this attitude.

Safety is really pretty simple. It is often a matter of seconds. Ever had someone you know die in a traffic accident? Did you think about what would have happened if one or more parties operating vehicles in that accident had waited a second or two before they (turned) (pulled out from a stop sign) (you name it). The outcome would have been entirely different. Safety is by seconds.

However, if we don't have an attitude of being appropriately cautious and considering surroundings, we make mistakes. Being appropriately cautious means we have our minds cleared and are focus on the immediate surroundings and the task at hand. If our mill has a tense atmosphere, has been significantly lax in enforcing a good safety attitude, bad things will happen. Looking at the track record posted on PaperMoney indicates this problem is pervasive.

For safety this week, teaching people to slow down by just a little bit may improve your safety record. Try it.

Be safe and we will talk next week.

___________________ has taken off like a rocket! Over fifty jobs are posted, in many interesting categories. These jobs are in at least ten different US states. [06.19.19]


Employers are on board with There are nearly thirty employers located in fifteen different US states and two other countries. [06.19.19]


Other interesting stories:

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