Poultry industry safety award program announced

To recognize those facilities that have achieved a high level of safety performance through the implementation of innovative and effective safety and health programs, the Joint Poultry Industry Safety and Health Council announces the first annual safety award program.

The program is open to National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association members with poultry processing plants, hatcheries, feed mills or rendering facilities that have injury and illness rates below the industry average for three consecutive years.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the workplace injury and illness rates for the poultry industry have reduced by 73% over a 15 year period (1994 through 2008).

"The dramatic reduction in recordable injuries and illnesses is not surprising when you consider that over the past 25 years the industry has put considerable emphasis not only on complying with safety regulations but also on proactively tackling safety challenges. (The industry's) efforts have changed the way safety is handled in processing plants today," said Craig Wyvill, retired division chief of the Georgia Tech Research Institute's Food Processing Technology Division.

"The overriding purpose of establishing safety excellence awards for our member organizations is to recognize the outstanding safety performance achievements of member companies and to encourage continuous safety and health program improvement throughout our industry," said Joint Poultry Industry Safety and Health Council Chairman Brian Rodgers, director, safety and risk management, Butterball, LLC.

The application deadline for this year's awards is 15 March, 2010. The annual awards will be presented during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, 9-11 June, 2010, at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA.

For the award program rules and applications, click here.

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council is made up of members from the US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the 3 organizations represent 95% of the nation's poultry products and employ hundreds of thousands of workers.

Source: US Poultry & Egg Association

Natalie Berkhout

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