The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council recently recognized 115 chicken and turkey facilities for outstanding safety performance through the implementation of innovative and effective employee safety and health programs. The annual safety awards were presented during the 2015 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry held in Myrtle Beach, SC.
The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consist of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and directly employ more than 350,000 workers.
"The 2015 awards program resulted in the largest number of award recipients ever, despite more rigorous conditions to qualify. This increase further highlights the industry's dedication to workplace safety. We congratulate these facilities and their management teams. The awards recognize their excellent safety performance achievement as a result of successful and advanced programs. The significant and continued decrease in illness and injury rates among poultry's workforce over the last two decades is a direct result of their commitment to worker safety," said the Council.
The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2013 was 4.5 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year), down from 4.9 in 2012. This represents an 80 percent decrease from 1994 (the oldest data available on the BLS website), when the recorded rate was 22.7, demonstrating the enormous progress poultry processors have made in improving safety for our workforce.
Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by judges Doug Britton, program manager for Agricultural Technology Research at Georgia Tech Research Institute, and George Nassif of Aon Global Risk Consulting. Sixty-four facilities received the highest level of recognition, "Award of Distinction." The other categories included "Award of Honor" and "Award of Merit."