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LP Swan Valley celebrates historic milestone


Louisiana Pacific Swan Valley currently has one million reasons to celebrate after achieving a safe work milestone on May 5.
“At our current headcount of approximately 215 people, it took about 2.5 years of injury-free operations to achieve this milestone,” said Plant Manager Kevin Betcher of the one million hour achievement.
“The time and effort to get here was a huge undertaking involving countless hours and substantial capital investments over the years to aid in a safer facility.
“COVID-19 could have distracted our efforts and our employees’ focus the past couple of months, but it didn’t,” he continued. “In fact, we are better for it. Having to navigate the rules and guidelines established by LP and government to protect employees from COVID-19 in the workplace has tested the fortitude of all of our employees, and I am proud of how well everyone has risen to the challenge and handled it.”
This is the first time the local plant – which has been in operation for 24 years – has reached this marker.
“The closest we’ve come was in 2013 when we reached 940,000 hours, but that involved some luck,” said Betcher. “This time, we have been far more controlled, not requiring luck to achieve our safety record which indicates an improvement in our safety culture. I’d rather be good than lucky any day.”
Only the 15th time this milestone has been hit in LPs 47-year corporate history, no other plant has reached this goal in more than four years.
“With this achievement behind us, we will now be targeting 2,000,000 hours, which is a definite challenge as this has been done only twice before in LP’s history,” Betcher said.
“LP is recognized as one of the safest manufacturing companies in North America because safety is held as core value, not simply a priority. Priorities change – core values do not.
“A culture of safety doesn’t happen without a committed and supportive structure starting with our corporate leaders right down through the employees working on the floor each and every day,” he continued. “It is important to LP because we always strive to do the right thing and there should be no reason for an LP employee to get hurt while at work.
“Over the years, like all manufacturers, we have seen examples of life changing events related to injuries, which can’t really be summed up in words but I can assure you, it has a lasting impact. If a company wants to be world class, that begins with a robust safety culture and excellent safety performance. If you don’t have that, nothing else really matters.”