“‘Ergonomics in Action’ award goes to Vancouver lumber company. 

The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is presenting its fifth “Ergonomics in Action” award, this time to a Vancouver lumber company.

 L&I says Columbia Vista Corporation was chosen because, among other things, it involved its employees in finding ergonomic solutions. One solution, for example, was an automated board-turning apparatus. It eliminated the need for workers to apply high hand force at workstations where they grade boards.

 Past recipients of L&I’s award include Precor of Woodinville, PWPipe of Tacoma, the City of Spokane and Hearth & Home Technologies of Colville in Eastern Washington.”


Thanks for your mail. I must say, your product is just what the “doctor ordered.” An exceptional job in designing what I believe to be one of the more “pro-active” products I’ve seen.

I agree that OSHA/WCB takes only issue to those things people are not compliant with. What a sorry state of affairs! You’ll be happy to know that I co-sponsored an “Ergonomics for Sawmills” workshop 2 weeks ago with our state compliance personnel (WISHA from Olympia, WA). They were showing your product video during breaks, so don’t be surprised if you get a call or two. The compliance officers and consultants present thought highly of what you have to offer.

Please feel free to give me a call at your convenience. I would love to swap war stories as well as fill you in as to what I do for our members…. Regards.”

Bill Bremer, Ph.D.
Director, Risk Management
Timber Products Manufacturers, Inc.
(877) 535-4646 – Toll Free Number

“Dear Redwood Plastics,

Since installing our Shark Fin System on our edger earlier this year, our piece count has increased dramatically from 33-34 to 41-43 and a lot of “pressure” has been removed from the edgerman. Thanks.”

Terry Mitchell, Maintenance Supt.,
Riverside Forest Products (Soda Creek) Div.

“Dear Redwood Plastics,

Just a quick note to let you know of our status re the Shark Fin Board Turning System that we installed in November of this year. If you remember there were some who stated that your system would not work for us because we wanted your system for four graders working in less than 17′ of total space. We pull up to seven grades and our normal product mix covers 1×3-1×6, 2×3-2×10. I’m pleased to report that your system works just fine and we are very happy. Prior to installation we had problems with graders going on light duty due to injury. Since we’ve installed the board turners all of our graders have returned to work and are happy with the system. In fact it’s the first time I’ve seen graders smile when running 2×10 20′!”

Barry Harley
Planer QC/Special Products Co-Ordinator
Tolko Industries Ltd.
Quest Wood Division
Quesnel, B.C.

“Dear Redwood Plastics,

The Shark Fin Board Turning System is part of an excellent ergonomic solution for the musculoskeletal injuries attributed to lumber grading. The Shark Fin System reduces repetitive and high force piece handling and allows the grader to focus on grading rather than turning lumber.

This system, combined with the option to sit or stand to work, will reduce a graders risk of musculoskeletal injury.”

Carl Butterworth B.Sc.
Ergonomist / Kinesiologist
Ergonomics in Motion.

Redwood Plastics,

“I’m proud of this installation and happy to show it off!”

“We have installed Shark Fin Board Turners at both of our grading stations, in September 1998. We selected the Shark Fin Board Turner because of it’s mechanical simplicity and it’s ‘hassle free’ versatility. We are happy with this system, and we strongly recommend it.”

“The payback on our board turner project was entirely based on lowering our WCB Premiums. With the Shark Fin, 6 of our senior graders could come back to work. The minimum estimated savings for us (at the time we asked Alliance for the money) is $100,000 / year.”

Denis Boulanger P. Eng.
Project Manager
Alliance Forest Products
Mistassini, Quebec

Redwood Plastics,

“We installed the Shark Fin Board Turner early in 1999 with the intent of speeding up our grading station while at the same time allowing the grader to focus more on grading and not handling the boards. The board turner has allowed me to accomplish this. The design is simple and virtually maintenance free. Mr. Moore worked with us to ensure successful operation for our particular application and after several minor modifications, the board turner functions as promised”

Stephen Mockler
Operations Manager
Hankock Lumber
Pittsfield, Maine

“Dear Shark Fin,

We would like to inform you that the Shark Fin Board Turner recently installed at our planer operation has been a great success and accepted by all our lumber graders. The system is so simple and maintenance free. The Worker’s Compensation Board visited our plant recently and were very impressed with the system. They asked for our permission to take pictures and would also like to write an article for their monthly magazine.

We at Lakeland Mills would like to thank you for your assistance during the installation.”

Monty Williams
Planer Superintendent
Lakeland Mills Ltd.
Prince George, B.C.

From December 2003 issue of National Hardwood Magazine. From an article on Robinson Lumber, Bill Dugger owns Automated Lumber Handling Co in Lenoir, NC, who installed the new equipment at Robinson. 
He is quoted as saying…” The most important thing that we installed was the patented Shark Fin Turner… which allows one or two graders to look at up to 60 boards per minute if need be” Dugger said. ” Before, they were only grading about 40 boards per minute” George Robinson (Owner) said…” We basically have a state of the art system that allows the grader to only take the time to look at the board rather than try to measure the board and do other things. The grader has alot more freedom and can grade more lumber. For our company to get the return we needed, we had to get more lumber through our system” Production was boosted from 30,000 to 45,000 board feet per day.





  • Chapman Forest Products
  • Linden Lumber, Chapman, Linden, Grader Planer Mill
  • MillMcShan Lumber, 2 Grader Hardwood
  • Weyerhaeuser McShan, Pine Hills, 2 Grader Planer Mill, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • Anthony Timberlands, Bierne, Grader Sawmill
  • Georgia Pacific, Georgia Pacific, Crossett, Grader Stud Mill
  • Hi-Tech Comact, Hot Springs, Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Pinecrest Lumber Div.Plumerville, Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser,Dierks, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • Cox Lumber CoSt. Petersburg, Grader Planer Mill
  • International Paper Corp, McDavid, Linear Edger Optimizer
  • International Paper CorpMcDavid, Grader Planer Mill
  • Rex LumberRex5 Grader Planer Mill


  • Beadles Lumber Co.Moultrie, Edger Optimizer
  • Langdale Forest Products, Valdosta, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Thompson Hardwoods, Hazlehurst,  Grader Hardwood Mill


  • Three Rivers Timber, Kamiah, 3 Grader Planer Mill


  • Salem Hardwood International Wood, Salem, 2 Grader Hardwood Mill, 2 Grader Planer Mill


  • Trus Joint, Natchitoches, 1 Grader LVL
  • Beams Weyerhaeuser, Dodson, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • Hancock Lumber, Pittsfield, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Maine Wood, Portage Lake, 3 Grader Hardwood Mill


  • Banks Hardwoods Inc, Newberry, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Banks Hardwoods Inc, White Pidgeon, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Pine Tech Inc, Lake City, 1 Grader Pine Mill
  • Post Hardwood, Hamilton


  • Medallion Cabinetry, New Ulm, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Potlach Corp, Bimidji, 2 Grader Stud Line


  • Purvis Forest Products, Purvis, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Rives & Reynolds Lumber Co, Lewisburg, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Rives & Reynolds Lumber Co, Natchez, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Shuqualak Lumber, Shuqualak, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • Altenburg Hardwood, Altenburg, 2 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • West Plains Resaw, West Plains, 1 Grader Rip Saw


  • Lonepine Timber Industries, Eureka, 1 Grader Sawmill
  • Plum Creek Evergreen Sawmill, Kalispell, 2 Grader Planer Mill

North Carolina

  • Gilkey Lumber, Rutherfordton, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Home Lumber Co, Eden, 1 Grader Random Pine Mill
  • Robinson Lumber, Lenoir, 1 Grader Hardwood
  • Weyerhaeuser, New Bern, Linear Edger Optimizer


  • Blaney Hardwoods, Barlow, 2 Grader Hardwood Mill


  • Georgia Pacific, Idabel, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser, Wright City, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • D.R. Johnson Lumber, Riddle, 2 Grader Timber Mill
  • Mary’s River Lumber, Corvallis, 2 Grader Planer Mill


  • Wood-Mode Inc, Kreamer, 2 Grader Hardwood Mill

South Carolina

  • Collums Lumber Products LLC, Allendale, Edger Optimizer System
  • New South Inc, Camden, 1 Grader Pre-Planer
  • New South Inc, Camden, 4 Grader Planer Mill


  • Armstrong Hardwood, Jackson, 1 Grader Rip Saw


  • Brooks Manufacturing, Bellingham, 1 Grader Timber Mill
  • Great Western Lumber, Everson, 2 Grader Timber Mill
  • Hampton Lumber, Randle, Linear Edger Optimizer
  • McFarland Cascade, Tacoma, 1 Grader Timber Mill
  • Portac, Tacoma, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • S.D.S Lumber Co, Bingen, 1 Grader Stud Mill (1st Line)
  • S.D.S Lumber Co, Bingen, 1 Grader Stud Mill (2nd Line)
  • Sierra Pacific Industries, Mt. Vernon, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser, Aberdeen, 3 Grader Planer Mill

West Virginia

  • Armstrong Hardwood, Beverly, 1 Grader Rip Saw


  • Bennett Hardwoods, Prairie Du Chen, 1 Grader Hardwood System
  • Kretz Lumber, Antigo, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Northwest Hardwoods, Dorchester, 2 Grader Hardwood Mill



  • Mostowich Lumber Ltd, Fox Creek, 3 Grader Planer Mill
  • Sunpine F.P Strachan Division, Rocky Mountain House, 1 Grader LVL Beams
  • Vanderwell Contractors Ltd, Slave Lake, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Sundance Forest Industries, Edson, 3 Grader Sawmill
  • Millar Western Forest Products, Boyle
  • Tolko Industries, High Level, 4 Grader Planer Mill

British Columbia

  • CAE Newnes, Salmon Arm, Linear Edge Optimizer
  • Canfor, Isle Pierre, Linear Edge Optimizer
  • Canfor, Ft St John, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Carrier Lumber, Prince George, 1 Grader Sawmill (1st Line)
  • Carrier Lumber (2nd Line), Prince George, 1 Grader Sawmill (2nd Line)
  • Canadian Forest ProductsMackenzie, 4 Grader Planer Mill (1st Line)
  • Canadian Forest ProductsMackenzie, 4 Grader Planer Mill (2nd Line)
  • Canadian Forest Products, Vavenby, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Centurion Lumber (Saltaire Div), Ladysmith, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Coulson Manufacturing, Port Alberni, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Crestbrook Forest Products, Cranbrook, Value Added TransferDoman
  • Forest Products, Nanaimo, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • GME Machines, Nanaimo, 1 Grader Edger Optimizer
  • Interfor Squamish Division, Squamish, 3 Grader Random Timber Mill
  • Lakeland Mills Ltd, Prince George, 1 Grader Stud Mill
  • Primex Forest Products Ltd, Delta, 3 Grader Timber Mill
  • Primex Forest Products Ltd, Courtney, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Tolko Industries, Quesnel, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Tolko Industries Lakeview, Williams Lake, 1 Grader Edger Infeed
  • West Chilcotin Forest Products, Anahim Lake, Edger Optimizer
  • WeyerhaeuserVavenby4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser, Kamloops, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser, Vancouver, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Weyerhaeuser, New Westminster, Random Timber Sawmill
  • Weyerhaeuser I.P Div, Nanaimo, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Weyerhaeuser APD Div, Port Alberni, 3 Grader Timber Sawmill
  • Weyerhaeuser APD Div, Port Alberni, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Weyerhaeuser, Princeton, 4 Grader Planer Mill
  • Wyndel Box, Wyndel, 1 Grader Planer Mill
  • Western Forest Products, Port Alberni
  • Western Forest Products, Nanaimo
  • Pope & Talbot, Ft St James
  • Tembec Enterprises, Cranbrook
  • Tolko Industries – Soda Creek, Williams Lake
  • Errington Cedar, Mission


  • Tolko Industries, La Pas, Linear Edger Optimizer

New Brunswick

  • J.D Irving Ltd, Doaktown, 2 Grader Planer Mill

Nova Scotia

  • J.D Irving Ltd, Truro, Transverse Edger Optimizer


  • Bowater Lumber, Thunder Bay, 1 Grader Sawmill
  • Long Lake Forest Products, Longlac, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Midway LumberThessalon2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Trus Joint, Kenora, 1 Grader LVL Beams
  • T.S Manufacturing, Lindsay, 2 Grader Planer Mill


  • Alliance Produits Forestiers, Mistassini, 2 Grader Dimension Mill
  • Comact, Quebec City, 1 Grader Sawmill
  • Groleau Inc, Boloeil, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Machinage Piche Inc, Daveluyville, 1 Grader Hardwood Mill
  • Multi-BoisSt Vianney, 2 Grader Stud Mill
  • Multi-BoisSt Vianney, 1 Grader Stud Mill



  • AKD Sawmills, Irrewarra, Victoria, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • AKD Sawmills, Colac, Victoria, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • French Enterprises, Tasmania, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Penrose Pine Products, New South Wales, 1 Grader Planer Mill


  • Aracruz Produtos de Maderira, Nova Vicosa, 3 Grader Planer Mill


  • Suzuko Co. Ltd, Island City, 1 Grader Planer Mill


  • Hakwood Products, Werkendam, Lumber Transfer System

New Zealand

  • CHH Kawerau, Kawerau, 1 Grader Planer Mill (1st Line)
  • CHH KawerauKawerau, 1 Grader Sawmill (2nd Line)
  • CHH KopuKopu, 1 Grader Planer Mill
  • CHH TaupoTaupo, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Flight Timber, Blenheim, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Pan Pacific Lumber, Napier, 2 Grader Planer Mill
  • Southern Cross, Christchurch, 1 Grader Planer Mill
  • Taranaki Timber, Stratford, 2 Grader Sawmill
  • Thames Timber, Thames, 1 Grader Sawmill

Northern Ireland

  • Balcas Sawmills, Enniskillen, Linear Edger Optimizers 18’ (1st Line)
  • Balcas Sawmills, Enniskillen, Linear Edger Optimizers 20’ (2nd Line)