Perdue associates are celebrating safety milestones at facilities in Lewiston, North Carolina, and Cromwell, Kentucky. Associates at the Perdue Farms’ Lewiston processing plant have worked more than 7 million consecutive production hours without an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) lost-time injury accident, while associates at the Perdue operation in Cromwell, Kentucky have worked 2 million consecutive hours without a lost-time incident.
Perdue Farms facility in Lewiston, North Carolina, sets safety record
Associates at Perdue Farms’ Lewiston processing plant have not had a lost-time incident since counting began in June 2012. The plant workers’ previous highest total was 10 million hours achieved in 2008. Lewiston was the first Perdue facility to reach the seven-million-hour milestone.
“We’re very proud of the safety culture that we’ve created in Lewiston,” said Jeff Stalls, Perdue director of operations. “Working safely and looking out for one another is a responsibility shared by each member of our team. There’s nothing more important than the safety of our people.”
To celebrate the milestone, the operation’s 1,750 associates were treated to a celebration that included cake, snacks, entertainment and an extended lunch on August 29. Each associate received from Perdue a commemorative windbreaker jacket in recognition of the achievement.
The Lewiston plant was recently recognized by North Carolina Department of Labor with the Five Million Safe Man Hours Award and the Gold Safety Award. In 2013, Lewiston received the Poultry Industry Safety Council Award of Merit for maintaining OSHA safety metrics at least 25 percent better than the industry average for two consecutive years. In August, Lewiston received the 2014 Award of Honor from the council for maintaining this record for three straight years.
Safety milestone reached at Perdue complex in Cromwell, Kentucky
Perdue’s Cromwell operation, which includes associates from the processing plant, live haul and administrative support personnel, reached a milestone of 2 million hours without a lost-time incident. Counting toward the milestone began in September, 2013.
To celebrate, the operation’s 1,246 associates were served lunch by members of the Perdue management team on August 12.
“It is very important to recognize that it was our associates who made this happen,” said Jim Booth, Perdue director of operations. “Perdue has a strong safety program, but it takes the cooperation and commitment of all of our associates to make it work.”
Workplace safety a high priority for Perdue
Perdue is a leader in workplace safety among 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 lost-time rate for all Georgia industries combined was 1.5 per 100 workers.
According to those same Bureau of Labor statistics, 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 August 2014, Perdue’s lost-time rate was .20 per 100 associates.
Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.31 as compared to the current poultry industry rate of 4.90, and is also better than the general manufacturing rate of 4.30.
According to Stalls, 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 before the start of each shift. Associates 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.