Panels & Furniture Asia Jul/Aug 2020

July / August 2020, Issue 4 | Panels & Furniture Asia 44 | MATERIALS Employee Safety First Sawmill operations continue as forest products industry deemed essential during pandemic As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, North American hardwood lumber sawmills needed to act – fast. Baillie Lumber was no exception. I n March, the United States (US) Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Labor both said that the forest products industry is an essential and critical infrastructure workforce in the nation’s response to the pandemic. This meant that sawmills were allowed to operate while other businesses closed or paused operations. The forest products industry was deemed essential becausemuch of what is produced in a sawmill is a critical part of the national supply chain that keeps people safe and healthy. For example, the hardwood sawmill industry helps provide: • Lumber for pallets to move food, medical supplies and more • Fuel pellets for energy production • Ties for railroad transportation • Sawdust that farmers need to maintain their livestock • Packaging for the increasing amount of home deliveries • Materials to keep essential construction projects going • Wood chips that produce key paper products Baillie Lumber took the approach to continue operations with employee safety at the forefront of thinking. They adopted several social distancing and sanitation practices to create the safest workplace possible. Some of the measures they took included creating six-foot interaction zones, redesigning employee gathering places, revising trucker communication practices and adopting other important social distancing techniques to keep their employees safe. It wasmeasures like these that enabled Baillie Lumber tomaintain production at all of their facilities and supply their customers with the lumber they need to keep their operations functioning. “The safety of our employees is our number-one priority as we continue operations during this pandemic,” said Phil Fenwick, Director of Asian Sales. “However, the fact that we are also able to keep our operations open and supply our customers with the materials they need to conduct their business is extremely important.” Baillie Lumber’s hardwood manufacturing facilities are spread north to south throughout the heart of the eastern US – the so called Appalachian region – including facilities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky. This provides them with access to some of the finest hardwoods in the world. As required, Baillie Lumber utilises an extensive network of reputable partner mills who meet the highest quality standards expected by Baillie. These partner mills help Baillie Lumber provide increased quantities of high-quality lumber and expand their breadth of specie selection. This select network of partner mills allows them to position themselves as a customer’s “one-stop shop” for all their hardwood lumber needs. P All images are credited to Baillie Lumber. Baillie Lumber adopted several social distancing and sanitation practices to create the safest workplace possible