Salisbury, Md. (Thursday, August 21, 2014) — Twenty-two Perdue Farms’ facilities in 11 states, including 14 of the company’s food-producing plants, were recognized by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council for outstanding safety performance for consistently implementing innovative and effective safety and health processes and systems. Perdue Farms received the awards at the 2014 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Destin, Fla., on August 20. Perdue facilities received 22 of the 96 total awards given, the most received by any Council member company.
Nine of the company’s food-producing facilities received Awards of Distinction, the Council’s highest honor, including processing plants in Dillon, S.C., Georgetown, Del., Concord and Rockingham in North Carolina, Monterey, Tenn., Cromwell, Ky., Salisbury, Md., and two plants in Perry, Ga. This marks the fourth straight year the Concord, Dillon, Georgetown, Monterey, Rockingham, Salisbury and both Perry facilities have earned the Award of Distinction since the inception of the safety award program in 2010. The company’s hatchery in Dillon also received an Award of Distinction.
The award criteria required these facilities to maintain their key Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety metrics — Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART), and Lost Work Day Incident Rate (LWDIR) — at levels at least 50 percent better than the industry average for three consecutive years. Award consideration was also based on each facility’s written explanation of its safety programs and processes.
Ten Perdue facilities were recognized with the Award of Honor, including processing plants in Accomac, Va., Lewiston, N.C., Milford, Del., and a turkey operation in Washington, Ind., a further-processing plant in Bridgewater, Va., hatcheries in Samson, Ala., Murfreesboro, N.C., Beaver Dam, Ky., and Hurlock, Md., as well as a feed mill in Hurlock. These facilities maintained their OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry for three straight years. The Accomac, Murfreesboro and Washington facilities are four-time winners of the Award of Honor, while Bridgewater is a three-time recipient.
The Council also presented its Award of Merit to two Perdue facilities, including a feed mill in Washington, Ind., and hatchery in Thorntown, Ind. These facilities maintained their OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry average for two consecutive years.
“At Perdue Farms, our safety processes and systems create a culture of safety engagement that involves every one of our associates,” said Chairman Jim Perdue. “Each year, we set goals around people, products, planet and productivity, and we always put people first in that equation. We believe there’s nothing more important than creating a safe, supportive and healthy working environment where our associates can be successful and return safely to their families at the end of the workday.”
Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by an independent panel of three judges.
“These 22 facilities were recognized based on performance and their world-class business practices related to safety processes,” said Frank Cruice, senior director of corporate safety and security for Perdue. “To be considered by the Council for the Award of Distinction, each location had to sustain key OSHA safety metrics of at least 50 percent better than the poultry industry average for three consecutive years. This track record validates our associates’ commitment to ensure the safety of each other, and highlights the strength of our safety processes.”
Safety culture encourages active associate participation
Perdue has a standard, companywide safety culture that encourages active associate participation and input. Associates take part in various safety committees, which meet regularly to discuss safety issues, as well as perform and participate in safety inspections during each shift. Associates have the authority to stop production or prevent start-up if any unsafe condition exists. In addition, every associate attends initial and ongoing safety awareness training, and is encouraged to look for and report any potential hazard.
Associates are also encouraged to report potential safety issues through the Perdue Safety Ticket Opportunity Process (STOP), a tracking system that provides a method to capture, communicate and correct identified safety hazards that could cause injury to our associates or damage to our facilities. A STOP report is created for any identified safety opportunity for improvement and forwarded to a manager or supervisor — often a safety and security manager — who assigns responsibility and a due date for corrective action.
As part of the Perdue Business Improvement Process at Perdue Foods plants, associates meet in daily “huddles”, where managers share safety awareness messages and associates share ideas and observations regarding safety.
Perdue is a leader in workplace safety
Perdue is a leader in workplace safety among the poultry industry and all industries nationwide combined. According to statistics released by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, during their most recently reported year in 2012, the nationwide lost-time rate for all industries combined for that same year was 1.1 per 100 workers annually, while Perdue’s companywide rate during that year was 0.16 per 100 associates. As of August 2014, Perdue’s lost-time rate was .22 per 100 associates.
Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.14 as compared to the current Poultry Industry rate of 4.90, and is also better than the General Manufacturing rate of 4.30.
About the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council comprises members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Combined, these three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation’s poultry products and employ more 350,000 workers.
About Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for everyone we touch through innovative food and agricultural products. Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, to our expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the PERDUE® brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, and continuing with our third generation of leadership with Chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained family owned and family operated. We are the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Through our PERDUE®, HARVESTLAND® and COLEMAN NATURAL®, and COLEMAN ORGANIC® food brands; agricultural products and services; and stewardship and corporate responsibility programs, we are working to become the most-trusted name in food and agricultural products.