The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said it is recognizing 28 dairy companies for their outstanding achievements in worker safety in 2020 with an IDFA Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Award. This is the 17th year that IDFA has sponsored this program, highlighting the outstanding workplace safety achievements of U.S. dairy companies.

“These awards continue to demonstrate that safety in the workplace is the dairy industry’s No. 1 priority,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. “Each awardee is a shining example of how to implement innovative and proactive approaches to workplace safety. 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 its occupational injury and illness performance rates, as well as 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 Ed Foulke of Fisher & Phillips LLP, Kathie Canning of Dairy Foods magazine and Taylor Boone of IDFA.

“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 companywide safety culture,” Boone said.

Danielle Quist, vice president, regulatory affairs and counsel for IDFA, told Dairy Foods that the awards program gives IDFA members a chance to show how proactive they are in developing a culture of worker safety within their plants, as well as in making the plants a safe place to work.

“This is their opportunity to show a terrific safety record over the last year; it’s an opportunity to show that their training and their efforts to develop a proactive safety culture within the company are working,” she said.


Criteria for success

The award program includes categories for both processing facilities and trucking operations in the dairy industry. In addition to 26 outstanding facility safety award winners, IDFA recognized two companies as a Most Improved Facility 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 2020 Facility and Transportation Outstanding Record in Worker’s Safety Award winners are:

  • Danone North America — Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Danone North America — Bridgeton, N.J.
  • Danone North America — Mt. Crawford, Va.
  • Darigold Inc. — Sunnyside, Wash.
  • Darigold Inc. Fleet Operations — Spokane, Wash.
  • Darigold Inc. Fleet Operations — Sunnyside, Wash.
  • Darigold Inc. Fleet Operations — Bozeman, Mont.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Clayton, Wis.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Lancaster, Wis.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Milan, Wis.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Reedsburg, Wis.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Preston, Minn.
  • Glanbia Nutritionals — Twin Falls, Idaho.
  • HP Hood LLC — Agawam, Mass.
  • HP Hood LLC — Arkport, N.Y.
  • The Kroger Co., Compton Creamery — Compton, Calif. (fluid milk).
  • The Kroger Co., Compton Creamery — Compton, Calif. (ice cream).
  • The Kroger Co., Layton Dairy — Layton, Utah (cheese).
  • The Kroger Co., Layton Dairy — Layton, Utah (ice cream).
  • The Kroger Co., Layton Dairy — Layton, Utah (milk).
  • The Kroger Co., Mountain View Foods — Denver, Colo.
  • The Kroger Co., Pace Dairy Foods — Crawfordsville, Ind.
  • The Kroger Co., Riverside Creamery — Riverside, Calif.
  • The Kroger Co., Tolleson Dairy — Tolleson, Ariz.
  • Leprino Foods Co. — Allandale, Mich.
  • Springdale Ice Cream & Beverage — Springdale, Ohio.

The 2020 Most Improved Facilities award winners are:

  • Darigold Inc. — Sunnyside, Wash.
  • Foremost Farms USA — Clayton, Wis.

"It’s a very meaningful award program because it shows that their safety efforts have made a difference within their plants,” Quist said. “It’s based on statistics; it’s based on how they developed their safety program. And leading indicators are such an important part of the program and the awards.”

IDFA said it will issue a call for nominations for the next Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards competition in early 2021.