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July 05, 2013
Do you have what it takes to work 3 million safe hours?

Poultry producers have had their share of run-ins with OSHA, but a Wayne Farms, LLC, site is getting attention for a more positive reason. The company’s Enterprise, Alabama, site recently celebrated 3 million hours worked without a lost-time accident. Keep reading to learn how they did it.

Getting there is no accident, says Wayne Farms Enterprise Operations Manager Tom Mallalieu. He said the key is for workers to take responsibility for their own safety, watch out for one another, take the time to make recommendations, and ensure that their ideas get attention.

Boost safety awareness at your facility

The poultry processor says it has improved safety performance with ideas like these. Could they work at your site?

  • Safety observers. More than 60 specially trained volunteers watch for safe practices or unsafe situations as they work. Their observations are incorporated into a weekly management safety review meeting.
  • Safety light. Each day employees are greeted with a color-coded light—a red, yellow, or green light that describes the general safety posture of the plant that day and indicates the need to pay attention to a particular issue.

Other employers’ ideas for improving safety awareness include:

  • Name a safety champion. One employee in each work area receives special training and serves as the department’s go-to safety liaison.
  • Build safety into employee communications. In every employee contact—from e-mails to paycheck stuffers to newsletters—focus on safety with a simple but meaningful message.
  • Tell it straight. Many employers find that employees take safety to heart when they know the real financial impact of injuries and illnesses. Consider sharing this bottom line information during an all-hands safety meeting.
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