The International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for the 13th annual Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards, a program that honors facilities and trucking operations for outstanding worker safety performance. 

Because health and safety experts believe that an effective worker safety program involves use of both leading and lagging indicators, IDFA has expanded its application to include both indicators as part of the award criteria. 

Program rules, regulations and application form are available here, and there is no fee to enter. You must be an IDFA member to enter. All entries must be submitted to IDFA no later than April 20.

Leading indicators of dairy plant safety  

“For the past several years, IDFA has collected information on leading indicators that the dairy industry commonly uses in effective safety and health programs,” said Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel. “We are pleased that we now are able to recognize IDFA members that have implemented proactive safety programs to prevent illness and injuries from occurring in the workplace and that have outstanding safety statistics to verify the programs are working.” 

Examples of leading indicators include:
•    Number of inspections conducted;
•    Number of safety and health hazards identified;
•    Decreased time for hazard abatement;
•    Increased employing training;
•    Safety suggestions implemented; and
•    Job hazard analyses completed.

Criteria include occupational injury, illness performance rates

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), as well as on the components of their safety and health programs. Companies are required to post their OSHA 300A forms from February 1 through April 30 each year.

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 the industry average. 

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