Poultry industry facilities with outstanding safety programs are invited to apply for recognition under the Joint Poultry Industry Safety Award Program. The program is open to National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association members with poultry or egg processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills and rendering facilities with injury and illness rates below the industry average. Injury and illness rates must meet the qualifications for three consecutive years, through the implementation of innovative and effective programs.
The poultry processing total recordable illness and injury rate for 2011 was 5.8 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year). Poultry processing's 2011 rate represents an over 74 percent improvement from 1994, the oldest data available on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' website.
Doug Britton, manager of the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Agricultural Technology Research Program and one of the award program judges, states: "As consumer demand changed over the years, the product mix provided by the poultry industry changed to skinless, boneless, marinated or otherwise further-processed, value-added products. Over the last 30 years, the unique worker safety challenges presented by these changes have been proactively tackled by the industry through improved equipment technology, ergonomic solutions, and effective employee training and safety programs. The notable reductions in recordable injuries and illnesses are not surprising given the industry's commitment to providing a safe workplace."
Award program application forms can be obtained on the www.uspoultry.org website. The application deadline for the 2013 awards is May 29. The annual awards will be presented during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, August 19-21 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Florida.