Workers'-compensation costs fell from $274,000 in 2000 to $10,000 in 2004.
At one point in 2003, the plant had gone 377 days without a lost-time accident, but then it had an injury and restarted the count. By the time the mill received the award last week, it had gone 426 days without a lost-time accident. Aside from a disappearance of injuries like sprained wrists and torn muscles, the change showed up in other ways. Production went up 28 percent as workers learned that trying to move perhaps 20 pieces of lumber at once, and then incurring several hours of downtime, wasn't as effective as moving 10 at a time and being able to keep working.