SALISBURY, MD. (Thursday, August 22, 2013) — Twenty Perdue Farms’ facilities, including 15 of its food processing plants, were recognized recently 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 2013 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Amelia Island, Fla., in August. Perdue facilities received 20 of the 92 total awards given, the most received by any Council member company.
Eight of the company’s food processing facilities received Awards of Distinction, the Council’s highest honor, including processing plants in Dillon, S.C., Georgetown, Del., Perry, Ga., Rockingham, N.C., and Salisbury, Md., and further-processing plants in Concord, N.C, Monterey, Tenn., and Perry. This marks the third 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 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.
Nine Perdue facilities were recognized with the Award of Honor, including processing plants in Accomac, Va., Cromwell, Ky., Milford, Del., and Petaluma, Calif., a further-processing plant in Bridgewater, Va., and turkey processing operation in Washington, Ind., as well as hatcheries in Hurlock, Md., Murfreesboro, N.C, and Petaluma. These facilities maintained their OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry for three straight years. The Accomac, Cromwell, Murfreesboro and Washington facilities are three-time winners of the Award of Honor, while Bridgewater is a two-time recipient.
The Council also presented its Award of Merit to three Perdue facilities, including a processing plant in Lewiston, N.C., and feed mills in Hurlock, Md., and Petaluma. These facilities maintained their OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry average for two consecutive years. Lewiston and Hurlock earned the Award of Merit last year.
“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 20 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 2011, the nationwide lost-time rate for all industries combined for that same year was 1.2 per 100 workers annually, while Perdue’s companywide rate during that year was 0.16 per 100 associates. As of March 2012, Perdue’s lost-time rate was .15 per 100 associates.
Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.32 as compared to the current Poultry Industry rate of 5.80, and is also better than the General Manufacturing rate of 4.20.
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 the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness, and represents the Perdue family ownership. Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, through expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the Perdue brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, to our third-generation of family leadership with Chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained a family-owned, family-operated business dedicated to making Perdue the most trusted name in food and agricultural products. To learn more about Perdue Farms, visit www.perduefarms.com®.