WASHINGTON, August 7, 2023—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today recognizes 25 dairy business operations for their outstanding achievements and improvements in worker safety in 2022 with the IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. This is the 20th year that IDFA has sponsored this program, highlighting the outstanding workplace safety achievements of U.S. dairy companies.

“The dairy industry continues to demonstrate that the safety of our people and our food is the dairy industry’s number one priority,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Each safety recognition award represents the success of the innovative and proactive approaches to workplace safety by dairy company safety teams. Consumers and customers of dairy foods companies value how these innovations help to deliver safe, nutritious food to people around the world.”

Each company applied by providing their occupational injury and illness performance rates as well as a providing a detailed narrative essay on safety and training efforts at the facility and leading indicators, with equal weight given to essays and injury statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Judging this year was conducted by Pete VanDerlyke, PhD, CSP, of Peco Foods, Inc. and Danielle Quist and Alex Cutillo of IDFA.

“Clearly, many members of the International Dairy Foods Association are utilizing both lagging indicators as well as leading indicators, which is evident in their strong safety and health programs,” said VanDerlyke. “Coupling the measurement of properly implemented leading indicators, ones that include management commitment and employee engagement, with traditional lagging indicators not only enhances a safety and health program, it also builds the culture that’s desired. These awards demonstrate the understanding of how and why a strong safety culture is such an integral part of any dairy facility operation.”

A full list of the winners is here.

Criteria for Success

The award program includes categories for both processing facilities and trucking operations in the dairy industry. IDFA issued a total of 25 awards; in addition to 23 Outstanding Facility safety award winners, IDFA recognized 2 companies as Most Improved Facility award winners 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.

The 2023 winners will also be featured on DairyFoods.com. IDFA will issue a call for nominations for the next Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards competition in early 2024. To learn more, visit the IDFA industry awards page.

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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 3.2 million jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages and $794 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 most 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.