Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation's paper mill in Hodge, La., has become the first mill in company history to achieve 3 million hours worked without a recordable accident according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The hours worked covered 815 days, or nearly 2.25 years.

"The Hodge team continues to set new standards for our mill operations," said Steve Klinger, president and chief operating officer of Smurfit-Stone. "Its dedication to working safely and attentiveness to the well being of each member of the team exemplifies Smurfit-Stone's ultimate goal to create an accident-free workplace."

"The Hodge team's performance is the result of our safety culture and the dedication of the people at this mill," Klinger said. "We believe that an injury-free workplace is something that can be achieved, and they've proven it. Safety is not a program at Smurfit-Stone; it's a way of life."

Smurfit-Stone has led the major integrated companies in the pulp and paper industry in safety performance every year since 2001, demonstrating progressive year-over-year improvement.

"Our safety processes are something we work on every day," said Jerry Stuart, general manager at Hodge. "We have a mill with more than 600 people here who have made a commitment to themselves and to each other to do everything we do safely."

The Hodge mill earned the 2007 Award of Safety Excellence from the Pulp and Paper Safety Association (PPSA) by achieving the best safety record in its category for three consecutive years.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation is the industry's leading integrated containerboard and corrugated packaging producer and is one of the world's largest paper recyclers. The company is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and the Chicago Climate Exchange. Smurfit-Stone generated revenue of $7.4 billion in 2007, has led the industry in safety every year since 2001, and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association.