Associates at Perdue Foods’ Monterey, Tenn., operation achieved a safety milestone on Oct. 17, after working four million production hours without experiencing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable lost-time case. Counting toward the milestone began in July 2014.
“We’re very proud of the safety culture that we’ve created in Monterey,” said Jeff Beckman, 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.”
Perdue has a standard, company-wide safety program that encourages active associate 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 receives regular safety awareness training, and is encouraged to look for and report any potential hazard.
Perdue is a leader in workplace safety among all Tennessee industries 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 2014, the lost-time rate for all Tennessee goods-producing industries combined was 1.00 per 100 workers.
Those same Bureau of Labor statistics demonstrate the nationwide lost-time rate for all goods-producing industries combined for that same year was 1.10 per 100 workers annually. Perdue’s company-wide rate during that year was 0.19 per 100 associates. As of September 2016, Perdue’s lost-time rate was 0.28 per 100 associates.
Perdue’s companywide OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate is 2.39 as compared to the current poultry industry rate of 4.30 and is also better than the General Manufacturing rate of 4.00.