Board Converting News, April 11, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years April 11, 2022 VOL. 38, NO. 15

Reducing Workers Comp Premiums, Claim Costs BY PHILLIP M. PERRY

FBA 2022 Annual Meeting Opens At The Montage In CA The Fibre Box Association’s (FBA) 2022 An- nual Meeting is being held April 10-12, 2022, at The Montage Laguna Beach in Laguna Beach, California. “This is the year of the box,” says FBA Pres- ident Dennis Colley. “With strong shipments and a drive toward more sustainable packag- ing, the time is now for corrugated boxes and packaging. The pandemic lit a spark that has set off fireworks of opportunities for the corru- gated industry. Boxes are the hero of the pan- demic, the economy, and our new normal.” Those opportunities will be explored with presentations on the top-of-mind topics im- pacting the corrugated industry this year and beyond at FBA’s in-person 2022 Annual Meeting. Presentations will answer important member questions like: • Where will we find the next generation of plant employees? • What’s the next step in the corrugated in- dustry’s sustainability journey? What are customers and consumers looking for?\ How are we telling the corrugated industry story? Where can members find industry information to share with customers?

Just as many employers are getting workers’ compensation premiums and related costs under control, the COVID pandemic is introducing new hazards to the regulatory terrain. While claims are increasing for mental distress and pandemic-related accidents, state regulatory agencies are expanding coverage to a presumption of the workplace origination of infections, medical marijuana use, and other novel areas.

“Workers’ compensation law is becoming more complicated for em- ployers in many states,” says Jeffrey M. Adelson, General Counsel at Adelson McLean ( “The regulations are undergo- ing change all the time.” Adelson and other attorneys cite these areas of concern: • Presumption laws for COVID infections



• Costly “long COVID” care. • Mental health treatments • Medical marijuana coverage • Opioid effect on accidents • Injuries by inexperienced replacement workers

6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x ISM: Manufacturing Grows Again In March 12 JCC Facility In Cleveland Certified For Food Safety 8 GPI To Decommission Recycled Mill In MI 2 Vanguard Companies Unveils Updated Mission Statement

• Independent contractor coverage • Ergonomic injuries by home workers

• Comorbidities • Mega claims

Many of the above concerns arise from, or are worsened by, the pandemic. “Recent regulatory and legislative trends at the state level continue to be led by COVID,” says Randy Sieberg, president of Work- CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00

West Coast U.S. Average

The Price is Right

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

More box makers and brokers are relying on the containerboard pricing in Board Converting News to negotiate their contracts with end users.

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.


Len Prazych at 518-366-9017

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West


$960.00 $995.00



April 11, 2022

• What’s next for retailers, consumers and the supply chain? What can we expect in the coming years? Speakers include Brian McPheeley, Global CEO of Pratt Industries/Visy Pratt Industries. He also served as Chief Ex- ecutive Officer of Pratt Industries, Inc. (appointed in 2009) with responsibility for all aspects of the North American operations including containerboard, corrugated prod- ucts, product development, technology and recycling. Also presenting is Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO of the Shelton Group. She will draw on her extensive ex- perience in energy and the environment – and 25+ years in the marketing and advertising industry – to provide high-level strategic insights to FBA members and guests. Amanda Lai is Consulting Senior Manager and Food Re- tail Practice Leader at McMillanDoolittle, a Chicago-based consultancy serving the retail industry. Amanda manages McMillanDoolittle’s food retail practice and manages stra- tegic planning, retail concept development, consumer re- search, and real estate analysis for a wide range of glob- al retail clients. Her presentation will include insights by which industry leaders can calculate business decisions. The meeting is being held at The Montage, which is set on an oceanfront bluff with sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and striking Craftsman-style architecture on 30 lushly landscaped acres in the heart of the picturesque arts community of Laguna Beach. Visit . FBA 2022 Annual Meeting (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

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April 11, 2022

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Klöde Kartonagen Adds Baysek C-170 Die Cutter

In order to secure the company’s position in its core busi- ness of die cut packaging and die cut parts, Henningsdorf, Berlin based Klöde Kartonagen has added a Baysek C-170 die cutter to its production floor. The owner, Thomas Wolf, was looking to reduce run times and unit costs, particular- ly at a time when sheet board prices were rising and the pandemic had impacted supply chains. “Raw materials have become so expensive since the first half of 2021 but these cost increases cannot be passed on to our customers easily and must be absorbed by saving on labor costs,” says Wolf. “The new die cutter has enabled us to undertake a series of processes on one machine, doing away with multiple processes and expen- sive hand work. It has been a great decision to install this machine and is opening up new markets for us.” According to Baysek Machines, the nick-free, multi- ple-out, the Baysek die cutting method is designed to con- quer difficult jobs that traditional rotary and flatbed die cut- ters struggle or fail to efficiently accomplish. Visit for more. ISM: Manufacturing Grows Again In March

Economic activity in the manufacturing sec- tor grew in March, with the overall econo- my achieving a 22nd consecutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued by Timothy R. Fio- re, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The March Manufacturing PMI regis- tered 57.1 percent, a decrease of 1.5 percent- age points from the February reading of 58.6 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 22nd month in a row after a contraction in April and May 2020. This is the lowest reading since Sep- tember 2020 (55.4 percent). The New Or- ders Index registered 53.8 percent, down 7.9 percentage points compared to the Febru- ary reading of 61.7 percent. The Production Index reading of 54.5 percent is a 4 percent- age point decrease compared to February’s figure of 58.5 percent. “The Prices Index registered 87.1 percent, up 11.5 percentage points compared to the February figure of 75.6 percent. The Back- log of Orders Index registered 60 percent, 5 percentage points lower than the February reading of 65 percent. The Employment In- dex figure of 56.3 percent is 3.4 percentage CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


April 11, 2022

40 ft of paper travel from preheater to hot plates 3 seconds of heat, glue and bonding 1 chance to get it right! the ZONE

Design & Production

Chicago Electric offers 10 technology solutions to control ‘the Zone’ CORRUGATOR Sectoral preheating plate

Our sectoral preheating plates provide direct heat by means of a double steam circuit, allowing for efficient heating in hard-to-access locations, as well as to act as a steam shower to open the paper’s fibre, making it receptive to absorbing the heat and the glue.

This translates into increased speed and improved quality of the cardboard sheet finish.

The system’s main advantages are as follows:

• The plate may only be used to heat, only to humidify, or both options at the same time. • The plate is sectored, which allows for applying humidity to the sections. • It provides temperature in previously inaccessible locations and near the location needed. • It compensates the loss of temperature dissipated due to distance, speed or limitations of the exiting preheaters. • Quick transferring of heat to the paper. • The combination of the hot plate and steam shower allows for providing heat even to the hardest papers to heat. • Does not dry out the paper. • Possibility of operating as a humidifier and pre-conditioner. • Maintains and improves the fibre’s elasticity. • Acts according to the operator’s needs. • Facilitates the paper’s hygroscopy to absorb the glue and improve rubberising.


1. Wrap Arm - Position & Temperature 2. Preheater Direct Drive


3. Steam Plate 4. Contact Roll 5. Glue Machine Direct Drive Touch Productivity Issue—Glue Unit Many glue units run with a rider roll or a guiding bar system. The rider roll with paper gap allows a precise glue application, but requires frequent Contact Roll


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calibrations and settings. Bar systems avoid this, but compensate this with the risk of exces- sive glue application. The system contains many wearing parts. Solution The contact roll combines the ad antage of both systems and ensures minimum contact between board and applicator roll. The system uses small pneumatic cylinders in order to achieve a “soft touch.”

6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding




Roller Shoe


9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire w orking width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe

Plate vity Issue—Poor Heat Control l hotplates are slow to react to pressure due to high steam volume and massive y also have high heat radiation and heat profile. Worn plates can damage crease edge crush.

Thin-Wall Hot Plates

t by peripheral drilled hot plates. anufactured out of special wear and nt steel, through which a continuous is drilled, with one inlet and one outlet. ecured by a massive steel frame.

ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow n higher plate surface temperature


ISM: Manufacturing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 6)

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month December 2021

points higher than the 52.9 percent recorded in February. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 65.4 percent, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point compared to the Febru- ary figure of 66.1 percent. The Inventories Index registered 55.5 percent, 1.9 percentage points higher than the Feb- ruary reading of 53.6 percent. The New Export Orders In- dex reading of 53.2 percent is down 3.9 percentage points compared to February’s figure of 57.1 percent. The Imports Index registered 51.8 percent, a 3.6 percentage point de- crease from the February reading of 55.4 percent. “The U.S. manufacturing sector remains in a de- mand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment. In March, progress was made to solve the labor shortage problems at all tiers of the supply chain, which will result in improved factory throughput and supplier deliveries. Pan- elists reported lower rates of quits and early retirements compared to previous months, as well as improving in- ternal and supplier labor positions. March brought back increasing rates of price expansion, due primarily to insta- bility in global energy markets. Suppliers are not waiting to experience the full impacts of price increases before ne- gotiating with their customers. Panel sentiment remained strongly optimistic regarding demand, with six positive growth comments for every cautious comment, down from February’s ratio of 12-to-1. Demand expanded, with the (1)



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

34.195 34.916


8.549 8.729


Industry Total

Year-to Date

December 2021



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

416.338 406.776


8.294 8.071


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2021 2020

2.7372 2.7727


33.8477 33.0739


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Dec. Nov.

2.256 2.203


3.3 3.3


Shipping Days




2021 2020

20 20

251 252

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association


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April 11, 2022

ISM: Manufacturing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 8)

growth (likely due to extended lead times) and consump- tion softening slightly (due to labor force improvement). Omicron impacts are being felt by overseas partners, and the impact to the manufacturing community is a potential headwind,” says Fiore. AICC Announces New Webinar: Developing High Performance Teams AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, will fea- ture a new speaker, Milton Corsey, Director of Human Cap- ital Solutions, AchieveNEXT, in its webinar, Developing a High Performance Team, on Thursday, April 28. Manufacturing performance is not a one-employee responsibility or action. It is a team effort that makes it successful. Attendees will learn to build their high-perfor- mance teams by ensuring the pieces fit together, rather than focusing on how great members are individually. Milton Corsey is the Director of Human Capital Solu- tions at AchieveNEXT. He is a professor emeritus at Rowan College of South Jersey, where he teaches in the business school, and was previously Dean of Administration and an Assistant Professor of Business at Gloucester County Col- lege. He completed his undergraduate studies at Villano- va University and holds a Master of Business Administra- tion from Saint Joseph’s University. Register at .

New Orders Index remaining in growth territory, support- ed by weaker growth of new export orders, (2) Custom- ers’ Inventories Index remaining at a very low level and (3) Backlog of Orders Index continuing in strong growth territory. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment indexes) grew during the period, though at a slower rate, with a combined minus-0.6 percentage point change to the Manufacturing PMI calculation. “The Employment Index expanded for a seventh straight month; panelists indicate their ability to hire continues to improve, to a greater degree than in February. Challenges with turnover (quits and retirements) and resulting back- filling continue to plague panelists’ efforts to adequately staff their organizations, but to a lesser extent compared to February. Amid signs of staffing and supplier delivery improvements, production expanded at disappointing lev- els, likely due to timing issues. Inputs — expressed as sup- plier deliveries, inventories, and imports — continued to constrain production expansion. The Supplier Deliveries Index again slowed, but at a slightly slower rate in March, while the Inventories Index increased at a slightly faster rate and the Imports Index grew at a slower rate. The Pric- es Index increased for the 22nd consecutive month, at a dramatically higher rate compared to February. “Manufacturing performed well for the 22nd straight month, with demand registering slower month-over-month





April 11, 2022

Jamestown Container’s Cleveland Facility Is FSSC 22000 Certified For Max Food Safety From following ISO 9001 quality management standards to maintaining an AIB food distribution certification at its Buffalo facility and housing a certified ISTA packaging durability lab, Jamestown Container Companies has always prioritized the utmost quality across its Ohio and New York manufacturing facilities.

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Recently, Jamestown has reaffirmed its commitment to quality and food safe packaging by acquiring the industry-accepted and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-recognized FSSC 22000 certification at its Cleveland, OH packaging facility. According to the official FSSC website, “FSSC 22000 provides a certification Scheme that incorporates an in-depth hazard anal- ysis in a robust food safety management system to control the food safety hazards, minimize risks and assure the production of safe packaging and packaging materials.” Potential Risks Threaten Food And Feed Safety For food and feed companies, packaging serves several practical purposes like protecting against outside contaminants and product loss, brand marketing, and sharing essential information like nutritional facts. Packaging also, however, has the power to contaminate food products itself if created improperly, out of the wrong components, or in an unsan- itary environment. Add to that the risks of contamination during transport and storage if the packaging is not durable enough or made of the correct materials to protect against a variety of shipping and handling conditions. This gives a fuller picture of the many challenges food-related industries face today when it comes to product safety. Food contamination represents both a significant health concern for consumers and a significant financial concern for food product compa- nies. Even once food safety concerns are solved, consumers may have a negative view of a product for an extended period of time after a con- tamination issue’s resolution, creating a lasting impact for the company in question. This makes the threat of contamination all the more serious for businesses within the food industry. Certification Protects Against Common Risks The FSSC 22000 certification involves a comprehensive facility au- dit that is monitored by its robust integrity program. The program audits are aimed at identifying, recommending, and verifying the implementa- tion of recommendations surrounding food-safe packaging best practices CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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Jamestown Container (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)

and eliminating potential health and safety risks. Overall, its mission is to improve transparency in the food supply chain and “measure and maintain performance for the de- livery of safe packaging and packaging materials all over the world.” While using standards set forth by ISO 22000 (for Food Safety Management Systems; including the HACCP Princi- ples of Codex Alimentarius) as its base, the FSSC 22000 certification goes beyond those standards to encompass the more targeted ISO/TS 22002-4 standards (sector-spe- cific prerequisite programs for food packaging manufac- turing). Taking it one step further, the FSSC 22000 certifi- cation includes its own additional requirements to ensure only the highest quality in food-safe packaging in its certi- fied organizations. JCC’s Commitment to Food-Safe Packaging Since its founding in 1956, Jamestown Container Com- panies has been dedicated to providing high-quality prod- ucts and outstanding service in the packaging industry. Experts across Jamestown’s Great Lakes region factory locations use creative problem solving and years of in- dustry experience to solve companies’ most challenging packaging issues. For more than 65 years, Jamestown has been growing to serve its customers in every way possible. Jamestown’s

Board Converting News is read by more independent and integrated decision-makers in the corrugated and folding carton industries than any other weekly publication. LEVERAGE YOUR REACH. Expansive Reach

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April 11, 2022

Bay Cities To Add New HP Digital Corrugated Press

Jamestown Container (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

six packaging manufacturing facilities collectively offer innovative custom-designed and -manufactured corru- gated packaging and displays, custom polyurethane and polyethylene foam packing for protection through its Viva Foam division, supply chain optimization services like an electronic vendor managed packaging inventory system and contract packaging, and a self-serve bulk packaging supplies website. The recent FSSC 22000 certification acquisition from its Cleveland location is the latest step in Jamestown’s commitment to providing the utmost quality and safe- ty in its packaging products and services. With a robust collection of up-to-date certifications and a decades-long track record of satisfied packaging customers, Jamestown Container Companies is a trusted expert for safe, strong, unique packaging for the food industry and beyond.

Pico Rivera, California based Bay Cities has confirmed it has purchased an HP PageWide C500 digital corrugated press. With this new addition, Bay Cities expands its sus- tainable packaging offerings as well as POP displays and subscription boxes to its brands and retailers. In addition to its innovation, Bay Cities focuses heavily on implement- ing sustainable practices and procedures during the pro- duction process to meet the demand of its customers for eco-friendly packaging, contributing to a circular economy. The C500 industrial-scale press will enable Bay Cities to grow in retail packaging as a cost–effective alterna- tive to litho label with mid to long runs. Utilizing this new equipment will allow Bay Cities to enhance its creative ca- pabilities, while reducing production and lead times, ob- solescence and costs — a win–win for both manufacturer and retailer.


“At Bay Cities we are committed to deliver- ing the most innovative solutions and services to our customers. The decision to invest in the C500 press was taken in order to leverage HP’s advanced technology for operational efficiency, and to offer high quality print and sustainable corrugated products fast,” said Greg Tucker, CEO of Bay Cities. “This addi- tion to our lines shows our commitment to en- hanced service, innovation and growth.”

Smurfit Kappa Group Exits Russian Market

Smurfit Kappa Group has decided to exit the Russian market. The Group has already sus- pended support for its Russian operations, including any imports and exports and any funding. This exit will be effected in an orderly manner, during which the company will con- tinue to pay employees and fulfill legal obli- gations. The Russian business represents less than one percent of forecasted sales. “Smurfit Kappa stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and everyone impacted by the totally unjustified attack on Ukraine and its people,” the company said in a statement. “The Group is providing, and will continue to provide, substantial humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people. We are also assist- ing the families of SKG employees and con- tractors from Ukraine as well as providing products to support the relief effort with finan- cial assistance to a number of aid agencies. We have also partnered with the Red Cross to provide funding to support their vital work.”

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Corrugated Week 2022 Heads To San Antonio In September

3. Don’t be left out: The next Corrugated Week is in four years so don’t miss your chance now to get out there and get the latest on innovative trends and technology ad- vances. Corrugated Week 2022 brings together one of the largest groups of industry decision-makers and industry suppliers under one roof. The conference program and topics will be unveiled soon, so now is the time to lock in the best hotel block rate. Early bird pricing and box plant rates are coming soon. Visit for hotel and travel information. GPI To Decommission Recycled Mill In MI Atlanta, Georgia based Graphic Packaging International (GPI) announced that it will decommission machinery at its Battle Creek, Michigan, recycled paperboard mill on Fri- day, May 27. The company will hold a job fair at the facility to help any potentially displaced employees find jobs with- in the company on April 20 and April 21. GPI announced in February it would close its recycled paperboard mill in Battle Creek and expects that the mill will be fully decommissioned by the end of August. About 200 employees will be impacted by the closure, GPI said. The decision was based on the overall industry supply CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

A lot has changed since the last Corrugated Week was held before the onset of the pandemic, but the corrugated industry is excited and ready for another epic conference with Corrugated Week 2022. TAPPI and AICC are once again co-hosting just as they did the highly successful SuperCorrExpo event in August 2021, the first joint, in-person event held since the onset of the pandemic. Corrugated Week 2022 will take place at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, with the Grand Hyatt serving as the official host ho- tel. Corrugated Week 2022 is your best chance this year to grow your business, explore cutting-edge products available and take your corrugated vision to the next level. Three benefits of attending Corrugated Week 2022: 1. Get in your steps: The good life is all about every- thing in moderation so take advantage of San Antonio’s pleasant terrain and take a stroll along the River Walk and explore historic places like the Alamo. 2. Everything is bigger in Texas: Come check it out for yourself and experience the 2022 Corrugated Classic Golf Tournament, opportunities to score some of the best deals in the industry and learn a little bit of Texas history, ex- perience the culture and get to know the vibrant people through the special events planned just for attendees.

We’ve got our customers covered… …with our fiberglass backed, boltless, full double-wide blankets and an extensive inventory of corrugated parts needed by virtually every box plant in the country. The innovator of the original fiberglass-backed knuckle locking anvil cover, Stafford is the industry’s go-to source for everything corrugated. TM 800-282-5787 IS THE MANUFACTURER OF STAFFORD ANVIL COVERS ®


April 11, 2022

GPI To Decommission (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)

and demand and follows the start up of the company’s new K2 machine in Kalamazoo, where the company invested $600 million to modernize and consolidate operations. Battle Creek employees are eligible to apply for other positions at Graphic Packaging, which is now putting its focus on the expanded mill in Kalamazoo. The company announced plans in 2019 to invest $600 million to build a new recycled paperboard machine in Kalamazoo. The machine began producing paperboard earlier this year.

Young, Weber To Lead AICC Webinar On Material Testing

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is calling on the expertise of AICC Technical Advisors Ralph Young and Tom Weber on Wednesday, April 20, in the webinar, Material Testing and Why You Need It Now. This webinar will focus on why understanding the characteristics or property values of the components pur- chased is critical and how they relate to other options in the industry. “While it can suffice that your board suppliers have specifications and can supply COAs, having your own in- ternal testing protocols in these days of fiber reduction



April 11, 2022

Vanguard Companies Unveils New Mission Statement, Core Values Vanguard Companies has announced a refresh of their Mission Statement and Core Values to strengthen the company as they commit to living these values every day. The updated Mission Statement is: WE ARE: • A customer-driven and growth-focused organization that is easy to do business with while driving best-in- class results through creativity, innovation, and solu- tions-based actions. • A people-centric, humble culture with an industry-lead- ing team collaborating through diversity, honesty, and a passion to drive for success. • A safety-committed company that strives to protect the team, encourages sustainable practices to protect our environment and natural resources, while delivering

Young, Weber To Lead (CONT’D FROM PAGE 20)

and more recovered fiber, a daily look at products and processes may be prudent,” said Ralph Young, AICC Cor- rugated Technical Advisor. Additionally, attendees will learn how, when, and why to test for successful carton making functional techniques. Tom Weber, AICC Folding Carton Technical Advisor, said, “this is a must-attend if you are considering getting into high volume folding carton work that may require the use of mechanical packaging equipment by your clients. The webinar will help attendees separate the must-haves from the nice to have as you equip your Quality Lab.” Tom Weber, AICC Folding Carton Technical Advisor, has 39 years of diverse packaging experience. Ralph Young has spent his entire corporate career in the forest products industry Register for Material Testing and Why You Need It Now at .

reliable execution utilizing continuous im- provement to bring value to our business. • A company that works to accelerate prof- itability to invest in the people, processes, and systems necessary to succeed with the right partners while earning a good re- turn for stakeholders. The updated Core Values are: Integrity – is widely trusted; keeps com- mitments and confidences; treats others fairly and consistently; accountable for one’s own words and actions; quality of being honest; makes responsible decisions. Respectful – cares about others; active listener; is thoughtful; acts with core values in mind; engaged and present for all inter- actions; genuine; open to others’ views; is humble or modest; recognizes contributions and accomplishments of all; committed to the health and safety of all. Curious – inquisitive; asks questions; cares what others think; seeks out new ways of do- ing work; questions the norm; explores new methods; seeks to understand; embraces op- portunities to contribute. Accountable – shares information; col- laborative; works well with others to achieve common goals; adaptable; communicative; sharing the workload and/or credit; admits mistakes; maintains highest level of perfor- mance and consistency. Impactful – action-oriented; can be count- ed on to deliver results; timely; motivated; dependable; removes roadblocks; provides solutions; having an effect on the outcome; embraces challenges and anticipate needs. “It is, after all, what drives success in a com- pany, just as it creates harmony in a home,” said James Beard, COO.


April 11, 2022

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Reducing Premiums (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

or that we know occurred.” A big reason that claims haven’t mushroomed is that most employers have gone out of their way to protect their employees. And many employees are still working from home, reducing their chances of exposure. “Most employ- ees are covered by some form of health insurance so even if they can’t establish that it happened at work, they’re still covered,” said Free. Another plus: Claims to date have not been all that costly. “The average cost on COVID claims is less than $5,000,” says Dennis Tierney, National Director of Work- ers’ Compensation Claims for Marsh, the insurance broker and risk advisor. “In contrast, the average cost for a typical workers’ comp claim—combining medical and lost time— is about $20,000.” It remains to be seen what the effect of costly COVID hospitalizations will be, he adds. Recent- ly, hospitalizations were running at five percent of cases, but 20 percent of that five percent took place in ICUs with costly 12-day average stays. Mental Health COVID has led to other social conditions that affect workers’ comp. Among them is mental distress. Sieberg points out that some states have started to add workers’ comp coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder on the part of employees who were put into work environments that were never expected to be very hazardous but turned out to be so because of COVID. Examples of such jobs

ers Compensation Consultants ( workcompconsultant. com ). “Some states have enacted so-called presump- tion legislation, to the effect that workers are presumed to have contracted their COVID cases at the workplace.” Prior to COVID, he adds, the burden of proof was always on the injured worker for a workers’ comp claim. Now it is often up to the employer to prove an infection happened somewhere other than the workplace. Long COVID Also looming are costly claims for so-called “long haul COVID”—a term referring to illnesses that linger for years. “I think it’s too early to tell what injuries or disease may ultimately result from COVID,” said Daniel C. Free, Presi- dent and General Counsel, Insurance Audit & Inspection Co ( ). “The infections could have long tail effects. Consider what happened with asbestosis or black lung disease. There are still cases out there materi- alizing even though the basic exposure was eliminated a generation ago. So I’m not sure I’m ready to close the door on COVID even if we vaccinate everybody.” On the plus side of the COVID equation, claims are not as common as feared. “All the piles and piles of COVID claims people were expecting, never really happened,” says James J. Moore, President of J&L Risk Management Consultants, Raleigh, NC ( ). “We were expecting six or seven times as many claims as we got in


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Reducing Premiums (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

A related problem: Employees who have migrated to home offices tend to grab the nearest desk and chair re- gardless of ergonomic concerns. Injuries result. “Employ- ees who work from home can have workers’ comp claims,” says Free. “If they can show that an injury was in the course and scope of their employment, it would be compensable. I could see an employer disputing it, but I don’t think it would go very far.” What to do? Employers are taking action such as con- ducting virtual ergonomic reviews and providing cash al- lowances for better quality chairs and for furniture with adjustable keyboard and monitor positions. “Safety and risk management budgets have become very large,” says Moore. “Safety investment has increased exponentially for home offices because employers don’t want to end up paying out claims.” Drug Abuse Pandemic stresses have also led to a growing use of marijuana—and that can lead to impairment and work- place accidents. Yet proving impairment can be difficult. “If somebody gets hurt at work, to dispute a worker’s comp claim, you’d have to establish that somehow there was a nexus between the person’s use of marijuana and the inju- ry,” notes Free. “You’d have to show they were high at the time they got hurt.” The topic is more complicated if marijuana is being used to treat a medical condition in a state where it has CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

are those for which the worker interfaces with the public, but the regulations may embrace a larger universe as time passes. Long absences from the traditional work environment can also lead to medical conditions. “Mental health issues may increase among people who have been working

from home for a long time without social interaction,” says Moore. “Facebook and LinkedIn only go so far. That may lead to the greater need for treatment and higher workers’ comp rates.”

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Reducing Premiums (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

keep tight control of it,” says Adelson. “Every employer needs to ask, ‘If one of my people gets hurt, what process will we use to monitor the medical treatment?’ You want to have the best control you can.” Comorbidities COVID-produced stress has also sparked an increase in long-term health complications called comorbidities: the simultaneous presence of two or more medical diagnoses. Combinations of anxiety, substance abuse, hypertension, depression, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions can lead to costly treatments that last for months or years. A recent study from the NCCI found that workers’ comp claims involving comorbidities have nearly tripled since 2000 and can be twice as costly as other claims. Some employers are introducing wellness initiatives to mitigate the growth of comorbidities. A recent report from The Horton Group, an insurance, employee benefits and risk advisory firm, recommended addressing chronic health conditions and improving overall staff well-being to “reduce the severity of workers’ compensation claims and maintain low comorbidity rates.” Closely affiliated with comorbidities are another work- ers’ comp headache: mega claims that typically incur loss- es of $3 million or more. “In the context of workers’ com- pensation, a mega claim is typically a seven figure-claim resulting from some sort of fall or motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to the central nervous system or multi-

been legalized for such purposes. “Some state legisla- tures and courts are struggling with the marijuana issue as it relates to workers’ comp,” says Sieberg. “If marijuana is used in a treatment program and has a positive effect on an injured employee, should it be covered? In many cases the answer is still unclear.” Employers need to consult with their attorneys for insight into the nexus between regula- tion and workplace practices. Addiction to opioids, as well as usage of other drugs, can lead to workplace absences and illnesses that require medical attention. Employers are responding by introduc- ing zero tolerance workplace drug policies. “Many com- panies have pretty strict rules about drug use today,” says Free. “They don’t care what you do out of work, but if you come to work high or drunk or on drugs, they have the right to kick you off campus right away.” Supervisors are also being trained in the difficult skill of spotting possible drug use. “Somebody can be an addict, but they don’t look wasted or like a drunk or stoned per- son,” says Free. “They look normal. You don’t even know until they have an overdose.” A related issue is that of over-treatment with drugs. The poor handling of workers’ comp claims can lead to drug addiction, so more employers are taking a hands-on ap- proach to monitoring the prescriptions given to their per- sonnel. “You have to see where the money’s going and


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April 11, 2022

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