In its participation of Safe and Sound Week (August 12-18), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) highlighted the dairy industry’s year-round culture of safety that keeps nearly 1 million employees safe and healthy on the job. The week is a nationwide event held each August by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that recognizes the success of workplace safety and health programs.
“Safety isn’t just something you talk about one week per year and expect to see results,” said IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes. “The dairy industry puts in the hours and effort every day to make safety a priority and part of our workplace culture. Dairy companies continually go above and beyond to implement innovative and proactive approaches to workplace safety.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dairy industry (as a whole and as individual industries of fluid milk, cheese, dry, condensed and evaporated milk, ice cream and frozen desserts, and general freight trucking) has consistently decreased its total recordable case (TRC) rates of occupational injuries or illness over the past 10 years. The dairy product manufacturing industry has nearly halved its TRC rate, falling from 9.4 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in 2004 to 4.9 injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in 2017.
In June, IDFA recognized 45 dairy companies for their outstanding achievements in worker safety in 2018 with the IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. Each company applied by detailing its occupational injury and illness performance rates and providing a narrative essay on safety efforts at the facility. Evaluations and awards were based on a review of injury and illness statistics from OSHA and overall efforts to ensure a safe workplace.The award program includes categories for both processing facilities and trucking operations in the dairy industry. IDFA made 41 awards for outstanding facility safety and seven companies received the Most Improved Facility award, which is based on significant decreases in recordable-injury cases and the rate of days away from work, restrictions and transfers (DART) for each of the last two years when compared to all other facilities that applied. IDFA also recognized four trucking operations for their outstanding safety records and programs. See the complete list of winners.