The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recognizes 37 dairy companies for their outstanding achievements in worker safety in 2021 with the IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. This is the nineteenth 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 safety in the workplace 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. 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, 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 efforts at the facility and leading indicators. This year, the narrative essays played a greater role in the evaluation, 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.; Amy Vodraska of Dairy Foods magazine; and Danielle Quist and Taylor Boone 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.”
“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 project manager.
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 37 awards; in addition to 33 Outstanding Facility safety award winners, IDFA recognized 4 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 2022 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 2023. To learn more, visit the IDFA industry awards page.