WASHINGTON, March 22, 2023—Today, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) began accepting applications for the Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards. Now in its 20th year, the awards honor dairy processing facilities and trucking operations for outstanding worker safety performance and management. As with last year, IDFA will weigh equally an applicant’s essay and statistical data as health and safety experts recommend more emphasis on leading indicators and EHS management as essential components of a worker safety program.

Examples of leading indicators include:

  • Number of inspections conducted
  • Number of safety and health hazards identified
  • Decreased time for hazard abatement
  • Increased employee training
  • Safety suggestions implemented
  • Job hazard analyses completed

“The Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards spotlights dairy businesses that have gone above and beyond in proactive workplace safety programs to prevent illness and injuries and implement programs aimed at achieving meaningful worker health and safety goals,” said Danielle Quist, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and counsel. “We look forward to recognizing the innovative safety management practices that dairy companies have put in place and progressed over the past year.”

Processing and Trucking Operations

Dairy processing and trucking operations will be judged on occupational injury and illness performance rates, which are recorded in each operation’s “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” report (Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A). Companies are required to post their OSHA 300A forms from February 1 through April 30 following the year covered by the form. Applicants will also provide a written essay explaining the components of their safety and health programs and how the company is using leading indicators as an essential driver of worker safety.

To be eligible for an award, a processing facility or transportation operation must implement an effective and innovative health and safety program and have illness and injury rates below industry averages reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Workplace health and safety is not just a priority for dairy companies, it is at the heart of each business and essential to productivity. These safety awards are just one way for companies to demonstrate their planning and successful strategies for maintaining a culture of safety throughout the company. Safety achievements and well-developed programs can be a strong indicator of success and through this awards process, we hope to encourage all dairy facilities to continuously approach safety as a priority and engage all levels of employees and managers in the process,” Quist said.

Award winners will be notified later in the summer and featured in Dairy Foods magazine, which co-sponsors the safety awards program.

Companies must be an IDFA member to enter. The 2023 award program rules, regulations and application form are available here on idfa.org, and there is no fee to enter. All entries must be submitted to IDFA no later than May 16, 2023.

For more information, contact Quist at dquist@idfa.org or (202) 220-3508.

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.