For the second consecutive year, the focus on safety at Wayne Farms Dobson Facilities has resulted in recognition from industry and state government agencies monitoring and overseeing industrial safety standards. North Carolina’s Commissioner of Labor honored the Wayne Farms Dobson complex with a trio of awards during the North Carolina Department of Labor Annual Awards Banquet held recently in Mount Airy.

The Newton Feed Mill Facility and the Elkin Hatchery received North Carolina Department of Labor Gold Awards, acknowledging both facilities for their proactive safety programs resulting in DART rates that are 50 percent lower than the industry average. DART is a safety acronym reflecting “Days Away/Restrictions and Transfers,” and tracks lost time from employee injuries and resulting workdays missed. The Dobson Processing Facility was also honored for a milestone achievement of 1 million hours without a lost time accident.

Cherie Berry, North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, presented the awards to complex and facility managers during last week’s banquet and ceremony. Wayne Farms Dobson Complex Manager Corey Early noted the company’s safety awareness and training efforts resulting in the awards. “It’s always nice to win awards—but where we’re really winning in our facilities—fewer accidents, reduced injuries and a safer, healthier workplace is the kind of recognition that counts.”

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Wayne Farms has undergone a major upgrade to its safety programs over the last few years, resulting in a steady decline in accidents, injuries, DART rates and worker’s compensation costs. Revolving around the company’s “Zero Accident Culture” maxim, safety programs have increasingly focused on robust awareness and training initiatives, work process audits and application of best practices to reduce accidents and change the workplace safety posture from reactive to proactive.

“We’re not just trying to reduce accidents, we’re trying to change the way people think about safety—we need them to understand that safe practices are part of their everyday job,” said Wayne Farms Senior Director of Safety Reggie McLee. McLee has been watching the company reap steady improvements since launching the Zero Accident Culture initiative three years ago. “Accidents aren’t inevitable—they can be avoided entirely,” said McLee. “When everyone is working for the same goal, we get a safer workplace and get closer to a zero accident culture.”