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 that have injury and illness rates below the industry average for three consecutive years, through the implementation of innovative and effective programs.
The poultry processing OSHA total recordable illness and injury rate for 2012 was 4.9 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year). Poultry processing's 2012 rate represents an outstanding 78 percent improvement from 1994.
"Over thirty years ago, as the poultry industry product mix began to move toward more skinless, boneless, marinated or otherwise further processed value-added products, industry safety directors began to address the unique worker safety challenges presented by these changes," said Mike Nations, corporate safety manager for Harrison Poultry and chair of the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council.
"Working together, they have shared best practices and implemented improved equipment technology, ergonomic solutions and effective employee training and safety programs," said Paul Pressley, executive vice president of industry programs for USPOULTRY.
"The impressive reduction in recordable injuries and illnesses is not surprising given the industry's commitment to providing a safe workplace. Yet, the industry also recognizes that there is still much to be done, particularly with respect to further reducing musculoskeletal disorders related to a few repetitive tasks that remain in modern processing plants. I am confident that the industry's dedicated and talented safety professionals will continue to seek and implement effective solutions to further reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries and illnesses," Pressley continued.
Application forms can be obtained on USPOULTRY's website. The application deadline for the 2014 awards is April 11. The annual awards will be presented during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, Aug. 18-20, 2014, at the Hilton Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.