TUCKER, Ga. — The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council recently recognized 215 chicken and turkey facilities with safety awards. The companies were honored in recognition of their outstanding performance through the implementation of innovative and effective employee safety and health programs.
Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years (2017-2019) and an evaluation of written applications by academia and other safety experts. Sixty-one facilities received the highest level of recognition, “Award of Distinction.” The other categories include “Award of Honor” and “Award of Merit.”
The Award of Distinction honors facilities for sharing the essential aspects of safety and health training, education and employee involvement and have incurred injury and incident rates equal to or greater than 75 percent less than Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) results. The Award of Honor honors facilities based on the same essential aspects but with incident rates between 75 and 50 percent less than BLS results, and the Award of Merit honors facilities that have incurred injury and incident rates between 50 percent and equal to BLS results.
Based on the latest data available from the BLS, the slaughter and poultry processing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) total recordable illness and injury rate for 2018 was 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers, down from 3.8 in 2017. The poultry industry’s rate of 3.5 was below the rate of 5.1 for similar agricultural industries in terms of injuries per 100 full-time workers and lower than the rate of 4.2 for the entire food manufacturing sector, while all of manufacturing was 3.4.
“It is always encouraging to see so many companies implementing new and innovative programs to promote safety in their facilities,” said Frank Cruice, senior director of corporate safety and security, Perdue Farms, and chair of the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council. “The awards are indicative of the impressive progress made by the industry regarding the safety and health of its workers.”
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consists of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation’s poultry products and directly employ more than 350,000 workers.
The complete list of recognized facilities can be view at https://www.uspoultry.org/mediacenter/docs/2020-JointPoultrySafetyAwards.pdf.