The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said it is accepting applications for the Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards. Now in their 19th year, the awards honor dairy processing facilities and trucking operations for outstanding worker safety performance and management.

New this year, IDFA is placing equal weight to an applicant’s essay and statistical data, as health and safety experts recommend more emphasis on leading indicators and environmental health and safety (EHS) management as essential components of a worker safety program, IDFA said. 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.
  • Job hazard analyses completed.

“The Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards spotlights dairy businesses that have gone above and beyond in proactive workplace safety programs to prevent illness and injuries,” said Danielle Quist, vice president of regulatory affairs and counsel, for Washington, D.C.-based IDFA. “We look forward to recognizing the innovative safety management practices that dairy companies have put in place or progressed over the past year.”


Processing and trucking operations

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 (OSHA Form 300A). Companies are required to post their OSHA 300A forms from Feb. 1 through April 30 following the year covered by the form. Applicants will also provide a written essay explaining the components of their safety and health programs and how the company is using leading indicators as an essential driver of worker safety, IDFA said.

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 industry averages reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Workplace safety is not just a priority for dairy companies, it is at the heart of each business and essential to productivity,” Quist said. “These safety awards are just one way for companies to demonstrate their planning and successful strategies for maintaining a culture of safety throughout the company. Safety achievements can be a strong indicator of success and through this awards process, we hope to encourage all dairy facilities to continuously approach safety as a priority and engage all levels of employees and managers in the process.”

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

Companies must be an IDFA member to enter. The 2022 award program rules, regulations and application form are available here on, and there is no fee to enter. All entries must be submitted to IDFA no later than May 13, 2022, IDFA said.

For more information, contact Quist at or (202) 220-3508.