On October 17th, Lieutenant Governor Mark Schweiker presented Governor Ridge's Award for Safety Excellence to Richard L. Garrison, Safety Director at Cummings Lumber for their commitment to workplace safety.
Schweiker stated "It is truly a pleasure to visit Cummings Lumber and North-central Pennsylvania and present this prestigious award. This award is only present on-site to about 5 companies per year out of the over 300,000 employers. The criteria to qualify for this safety award is extremely vigorous and intense with regards to safety and a commitment to safety by both employees and management".
"At Cummings Lumber, safety is not a slogan," said Schweiker. "Its a way of doing business and a way of life. There is no doubt that safety is a key factor in being a leader in a competitive economy."
"The companys success is due to the employees commitment to safety and managements commitment to providing the safest work environment possible."
Schweiker said that since the inception of the award in 1995, "workplace injuries have dropped 30 percent..the lowest point in nearly four decades."
Schweiker presented both management and the employees with two attractive trophies during the formal ceremony.
"Our efforts in safe responsible harvesting and processing enables our employees and Pennsylvanians to enjoy wood products today while we preserve the resource for tomorrow. "More than half of Pennsylvania -- about 17 million acres -- now is forest land. "Pennsylvania is the nations leader in hardwood lumber production," Garrison said. "Yet, our forests are growing at twice the rate at which they are being harvested. By promoting safety, efficiency and responsible industry practices, as well as active management of our forest land, we are stewards of this renewable resource." Our slogan is "Safety and Production Go Hand-In-Hand", Garrison stated.
Cummings Lumber workers are among roughly 85,000 Pennsylvanians whose livelihoods depend on safety, harvesting and processing the states hardwood supply, a $5 billion-a-year industry.
Cummings Lumber was founded in 1929. The company now employs 125 people in Pennsylvania at the Troy facility. It employs a full time safety director, two certified foresters, five level 2 sustainable forestry initiative practitioners and numerous level 1 SF! practitioners and logging crews.
Cummings Lumber Co. is a member of the Hardwood Lumber Manufacturers Association of Pennsylvania (HLMA), which promotes wood products while encouraging responsible forest management. HLMA is the sponsoring organization for the Sustainable Forest Initiative, which strives for continuous safety, improvement in forest management, wildlife habitat diversity, good water quality, prompt reforestation, and conservation of ecologically sensitive forestland as well as the best safety practices for the industry.