Associates at the Perdue Foods harvest operations in Eastern North Carolina have received five workplace safety awards from the North Carolina Department of Labor.

The more than 1,875 associates at the Lewiston-Woodville, N.C., operation were recognized for working more than 4.3 million consecutive hours without an Occupational Safety and Health Administration lost-time injury from Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 13, 2019.

The Lewiston team also received the Department of Labor Commissioners Gold Award for no Lost Workdays and a DART rate that was a least 50 percent below the statewide rate for its industry for the second year in a row. The DART rate includes cases of days away from work, restricted activity or job transfer. For 2018, Perdue’s DART rate was 0.30 per 100 workers.

Additionally, associates at Perdue’s Lewiston garage and Cofield feed mill, garage and feed delivery received the Gold Award for the second straight year, while the Ahoskie grow-out office earned its first Gold Award.

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“It’s really an honor for me to travel throughout the state and recognize employers such as Perdue who are making a commitment to workplace safety,” said Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry. “These employers are helping to make North Carolina workplaces some of the safest in the nation."

“At Perdue, we have a very strong safety program, but it’s essential to recognize that it was our associates, and their relentless commitment to working safety, who made this happen,” said Jeff Staff, director of Perdue operations in Lewiston. “We encourage active participation and input from our associates to ensure we maintain a safe work environment. Associates have the authority to stop production or prevent start-up if any unsafe condition exists. Additionally, every associate attends safety awareness training, and is encouraged to look for and report any potential hazard.”

Perdue a leader in workplace safety

Perdue is a leader in workplace safety among all North Carolina 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 2018, the lost-time rate for all North Carolina goods-producing industries combined was 0.60 per 100 workers.

According to those same Bureau of Labor statistics, the nationwide lost-time rate for all goods-producing industries combined for that same year was 0.90 per 100 workers annually, while Perdue’s companywide rate during that year was 0.30 per 100 associates.