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Smurfit-Stone's Hodge, LA, Mill Becomes First to Achieve Safety Milestone

CREVE COEUR, Mo. and CHICAGO, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation's paper mill in Hodge, LA, has become the first mill in company history to achieve 2 million hours worked without a recordable accident according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The 2 million hours worked covered 539 days.


"The Hodge team has set a new standard for our mill operations," said Steve Klinger, president and chief operating officer of Smurfit-Stone. "Their dedication and vigilance exemplify our commitment to being the safest, most profitable company in our industry."

Smurfit-Stone has led the industry in safety every year since 2001.

"Safety is something that we practice every day and try to incorporate into everything we do," said Roger Hagan, general manager at the Hodge mill. "The biggest thing that we have to really guard against is complacency, and we keep looking for new ways to improve our awareness and safety performance."

Hagan was the general manager at Smurfit-Stone's Stevenson, AL, mill in 2003 when that facility achieved one million hours without an OSHA recordable.

According to the Pulp & Paper Safety Association (PPSA), only seven mills have achieved one million hours worked without an OSHA recordable. Five of those mills are from Smurfit-Stone. In addition to Hodge, they include Smurfit-Stone mills in Hopewell, VA; Brewton, AL; West Point, VA; and Stevenson, AL.

Working safely comes down to the individual, Hagan said, regardless of where the mill is located.

"It's really just people. You're dealing with people and people systems, getting everybody on board, and getting everybody to think about safety. The whole idea is to stop an injury before it happens. The only way you can do that is to look at everything you're doing, not only the written procedures, and analyze all the time how what you are doing could be putting you at risk and how to minimize that risk," Hagan said.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation's (Nasdaq: SSCC) innovative packaging solutions help its customers to grow their businesses and profits. As North America's premier packaging company, Smurfit-Stone is the industry's leading integrated manufacturer of paperboard and paper-based packaging. Smurfit-Stone also is one of the world's largest paper recyclers. The company has led the industry in safety performance every year since 2001 and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association. Smurfit-Stone operates approximately 170 facilities and employs approximately 22,000 people.

SOURCE Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation
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