WASHINGTON, August 9, 2021—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) today recognizes 34 dairy companies for their outstanding achievements in worker safety in 2020 with the IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. This is the eighteenth 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, D.V.M., 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 foods 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.
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 34 awards; in addition to 28 Outstanding Facility safety award winners, IDFA recognized 6 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 2021 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 2022. To learn more, visit our awards page on ida.org.
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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.