Salisbury, Md. (Wednesday, July 11, 2012) - Eighteen Perdue Farms’ facilities, including 12 of its food producing plants, were recognized recently by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council for outstanding safety performance by implementing innovative and effective safety and health programs. Perdue received the awards at the 2012 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Ponte Vedra, Fla., in June. Perdue facilities received 18 of the 68 total awards given, the most received by any Council member company.
Eight of the company’s food plants received Awards of Distinction, the Council’s highest honor, including processing plants in Accomac, Va., Dillon, S.C., Georgetown, Del., Perry, Ga., Rockingham, N.C., and Salisbury, Md., and further-processing plants in Concord, N.C., and Perry, Ga.
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.
Seven Perdue facilities were recognized with the Award of Honor, including its processing plant in Cromwell, Ky., the turkey processing facility in Washington, Ind., a further-processing facility in Bridgewater, Va., hatcheries in Cromwell, Ky., and Forsyth, Ga., and feed mills in Nashville, N.C., and Forsyth. These facilities maintained their metrics of at least 25 percent better than the industry for three straight years.
The Council also presented its Award of Merit to three Perdue facilities, including its processing plant in Dothan, Ala., and hatcheries in Murfreesboro, N.C., and Salisbury, Md. These facilities were at least 25 percent better than the industry average for two consecutive years.
“At Perdue, our safety programs are designed to create a culture of safety that involves every associate,” said Chairman Jim Perdue. “Each year, we set goals around people, products and productivity, and we always put people first in that equation. There’s nothing more important than creating a safe and secure 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 18 sites are truly recognized based on performance and their best business practices related to safety processes,” said Frank Cruice, director of corporate safety and security for Perdue. “Just to qualify for review by the Council for the Award of Distinction, our sites had to maintain their key safety metrics at least 50 percent better than the poultry industry average for three consecutive years. This requirement only validates that our associates are consistently ‘walking the talk’ when it comes to their safety programs.
“It is truly an honor to be associated with a company and associates who work together toward the goal to make our places of employment the safest they can be day in and day out,” he said.
Perdue has a standard, companywide safety program that encourages active employee participation and input. Associates take part in safety committees, which meet regularly to discuss safety issues, as well as perform safety inspections during each shift. Members have the authority to stop production or prevent start-up if any unsafe condition exists. In addition, every associate attends safety awareness training, and is encouraged to look for and report any potential hazard.
Associates are encouraged to report potential safety issues through the Safety Ticket Opportunity Process (STOP), a tracking system that provides a method to capture, communicate and correct identified safety hazards that could cause imminent danger to associates, property damage, first-aid injuries, recordable injuries, lost workday injuries, and near-miss accidents. A STOP report is created for any one of these identified safety issues 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 food plants, associates meet in daily “huddles”, where managers share safety awareness messages and associates share ideas and concerns 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 2010, the nationwide lost-time rate for all industries combined for that same year was 1.9 per 100 workers annually, while Perdue’s companywide rate during that year was 0.15 per 100 associates. As of March, Perdue’s lost-time rate was .16 per 100 associates.
Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.65 as compared to the current Poultry Industry rate of 5.90, 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 Incorporated is the family-owned company behind the PERDUE® brand, the number-one brand of premium fresh chicken in the United States. The PERDUE® brand also extends across a growing roster of refrigerated and frozen food products, reaching customers across the country. Perdue foodservice products are distributed nationally to leading restaurant chains and distributors, and Perdue’s International channel distributes food products around the globe. At Perdue Farms, we believe in responsible food and agriculture™.