WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today recognized 34 dairy companies for what it called outstanding achievements in worker safety in 2020 with the IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. This is the 18th year that IDFA has sponsored this program, highlighting "the outstanding workplace safety achievements of U.S. dairy companies."
“In announcing these dairy companies as safety award winners, the dairy industry continues to demonstrate that safety in the workplace is the dairy industry’s number one priority,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA president and CEO. “Each award represents the success of the innovative and proactive approaches to workplace safety by dairy company safety teams. Every day, year after year, dairy companies go above and beyond to provide a safe and productive work environment. Consumers and customers of dairy food companies value how these innovations help to deliver safe, wholesome and nutritious food to people around the world.”
Each company applied by detailing their occupational injury and illness performance rates as well as a providing a narrative essay on safety efforts at the facility. Evaluations and awards were based on a review of injury statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and judged by Edwin G. Foulke Jr. of Fisher & Phillips, LLP, Kathie Canning of Dairy Foods magazine and Taylor Boone of IDFA.
“Lagging indicators such as lost time injury and illness rates and DART rates do not give the full picture of how good a company safety and health program is,” said Foulke Jr. “Moving towards utilizing leading indicators such as a strong culture of worker safety including continuous improvement, continuous education, engagement for employees and observations by managers and employees are more effective ways to improve a good safety and health program. Clearly, many members of the International Dairy Foods Association are utilizing, not only lagging indicators, but are now focusing in on leading indicators which will dramatically enhance their safety and health programs. These awards demonstrate that companies’ understanding of how and why a strong safety culture is such an integral part of any dairy facility operation.”
“These awards show that the dairy industry is driven not only to produce nutritious and delicious dairy products, but to do so as part of a company-wide safety culture,” said Taylor Boone, IDFA regulatory affairs coordinator.