Verso Paper Corp. (NYSE:VRS) announced today it exceeded the company’s safety goals for 2010 with a lost workday incidence rate (LWIR) of 0.07, which is world class performance, and a total incidence rate (TIR) of 1.36. These outstanding results place Verso at the top of the first quartile for safety performance among paper industry peers, according to the American Forest and Paper Association’s most recent Benchmarking Survey.

“Verso is proud of our industry-leading safety performance and that our 2010 TIR and LWIR performance was the best in Verso’s history,” says David Sams, Verso’s Director of Environment, Health and Safety. “More importantly, we are proud that our people are working more safely. We are moving closer to an environment where no one gets hurt at work. Verso’s ultimate goal is zero injuries.”

Verso’s path to top quartile safety performance is the result of a carefully developed strategy that engages every employee in the spirit of ownership for safety through Advanced Safety Leadership Forums. Employees and teams at all levels in the organization are challenged to look beyond the norm to identify what’s possible to achieve safety excellence. Once targeted opportunities are identified, safety leaders develop action plans to close the gaps and rally their teams to improve performance.

Verso has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for its participation in the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). Three of Verso’s four manufacturing facilities have achieved Star status in VPP, and the fourth facility continues to work on opportunities that will prepare it for VPP recognition. Less than 1% of the nation’s facilities have achieved OSHA Star status.

About Verso

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet, and supercalendered and specialty products. Verso’s paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising. Additional information about Verso is available on the company’s website at

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release all statements that are not purely historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “plan,” “estimate,” “intend,” and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on currently available business, economic, financial and other information and reflect management's current beliefs, expectations and views with respect to future developments and their potential effects on Verso. Actual results could vary materially depending on risks and uncertainties that may affect Verso and its business. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Verso’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verso assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement made in this press release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or actual outcomes.

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