Thursday, September 21, 2023

Butterball facility awarded recertification as Carolina Star site

Special On hand for the recent Carolina Star Site Award presentation at Butterball’s Mount Olive, N.C., facility were, left to right, Josh Dobson, N.C. Commissioner of Labor; Craig Leviner, Butterball’s Mount Olive complex manager; Brian Hughes, Butterball’s Mount Olive complex director of safety and security; and Carlene Harris, N.C. Department of Labor’s Star Program consultant.

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GARNER, N.C. — The Butterball LLC production facility in Mount Olive, N.C., has earned recertification as a Carolina Star site, a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) certification under the North Carolina Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Division. N.C. Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson attended a special event in Mount Olive on March 22 to recognize Butterball leadership and team members for their commitment to workplace health and safety.

“We are proud to be part of the Carolina Star program and value our continued partnership with the North Carolina Department of Labor,” said Craig Leviner, complex manager of the Butterball Mount Olive facility. “We are honored to fly the Carolina Star flag in front of our plant, and we believe this certification process has made our facility safer, more effective and more efficient for all who work here.”

The Carolina Star program is designed to recognize employers and employees who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates that meet the criteria for participation. N.C. Department of Labor’s Carolina Star program is administered through its Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau under the OSH Division.

“We don’t just hand out these Carolina Star awards — they have to be earned,” Dobson said. “Management and employee buy-in is a critical component of earning the Star designation. I’m here to thank you for your commitment to workplace safety and ongoing partnership with the Department of Labor.”

Butterball, the only meat and poultry producer in the Carolina Star Program, earned its initial certification in 2008 and has been recertified twice since then. The Mount Olive facility currently boasts 2,600 employees making it the largest employer in the Carolina Star program. Butterball, one of eight companies that falls under the occupational safety and health Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard, participates annually in the Carolina Star Safety Conference and maintains a leadership role on its regional Star team.

“Safety has been and will always be a top priority for Butterball. In fact, its importance has been baked into what we call The Butterball Way, the tenets of our ways of working that we hold each Butterball team member to,” said Butterball Chief Operating Officer Neal Walsh. “We believe safety is everyone’s job, every day. This recognition demonstrates how the Butterball Way is working in our Mount Olive facility and we’re so proud that our team members have embraced our ‘safety first’ culture.”

Butterball remains committed to its participation in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s VPP across multiple facilities. As a company, Butterball has achieved a company-wide Total Recordable Injury Rate nearly 50 percent better than the poultry industry Bureau of Labor Statistics average, the company noted. In recent years, other Butterball facilities have also hit major safety milestones, including the company’s Raeford, N.C., plant, which achieved more than 3 million hours worked without an OSHA lost-time injury, and in 2021, the Huntsville, Ark., plant achieved more than 5 million hours worked without an OSHA lost-time injury.

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