Smithfield Foods Records Lowest Injury Rate31 July 2013
US - Smithfield Foods’ companywide injury and illness rates for 2012 continued at their lowest levels in the company's history and are well below the national average for the meatpacking industry.
In 2012 Smithfield's injury and illness rate was 3.42 injuries per 100 employees, down from 3.93 in 2011.
Although the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics has not yet released industry-wide data on workplace injuries and illnesses for 2012, Smithfield Foods said it is confident that its rates will again be well below the national average for meat and agriculture industries and close to the national averages for all general industry.
Smithfield's 2011 rate was 41.3 per cent below the national average for beef and pork processors.
"We have come a long way in protecting our employees from injury and illness while at work, with a goal of preventing all workplace injuries," said John Tignor, Smithfield's corporate director of health, safety and security.
"While there is still a lot of room for improvement, the good news is that we continued to make progress in employee safety," said C. Larry Pope, president and chief executive officer.
Last week Smithfield handed out Health and Safety Excellence Awards to its independent operating companies at the company's annual Safety and Environmental Awards Conference.
The awards are intended to honor the highest level of health and safety performance by subsidiaries and individual facilities, with emphasis on preventing injury and illness through proper systems management.
Smithfield has also been recognised externally for its worker safety efforts. In 2012 Smithfield was selected by McDonald's Corporation as one of the restaurant chain's Global Best of Sustainable Supply Chain winners for their ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of their employees.
Smithfield Foods has also honoured several of its plants and employees for their successful sustainability efforts during this current year through a number of innovative environmental projects.
The bottom-line impact of these projects was significant, with Smithfield Foods saving more than 592 million gallons of water, nearly 12 million kilowatts of electricity and about 721,000 gallons of fuel oil.
These reductions, along with other sustainability achievements resulting from various projects implemented by Smithfield's family of companies, produced an annual cost savings of more than $8 million.
Smithfield also recognised the environmental achievements of the past year during its annual Environmental Excellence Awards banquet.
Smithfield executives presented one President's Award and 12 Environmental Excellence Awards for a variety of project categories that represent a companywide commitment to sustainability: wastewater handling and treatment; environmental training and/or ISO 14001; resource conservation-waste reduction; packaging reduction; best recycling of a previous year's project; community outreach and innovative solution to a compliance issue.
The President's Award was presented to John Morrell, of Peru, Indiana, for its resource conservation/waste reduction project. John Morrell's Peru plant became the first Smithfield Foods facility to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill, reducing solid waste from 999 tons in fiscal year 2008 down to less than 25 tonnes during 2013. The John Morrell plant also won an Environmental Excellence Award in the wastewater handling and treatment category for saving 3.5 million gallons of water and more than 5,000 pounds of chemicals.
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