During the 2019 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry in Destin, Florida, a record 230 chicken and turkey facilities received safety awards by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council. The companies were honored in recognition of their outstanding performance through the implementation of innovative and effective employee safety and health programs.

“We received the most applications ever for this year’s safety award program. It is impressive to see so many companies implementing new and innovative programs to promote safety in their facilities,” said Mick Berning, associate vice president of environmental, health and safety, Cargill, and chair of the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council.

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consists 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.

Based on the latest data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the slaughter and poultry processing OSHA total recordable illness and injury rate for 2017 was 3.8 cases per 100 full-time workers. The 2017 rate of 3.8 represents an outstanding 83 percent decrease from 1994.

Award consideration was based on injury statistics over three years and an evaluation of written applications by academia and other safety experts. One hundred and twenty-two facilities received the highest level of recognition, "Award of Distinction." The other categories included "Award of Honor" and "Award of Merit."