Tyson celebrates 1M man hours without incident

On October 25 Tyson Foods, Inc. in Forest, held a Safety Event to celebrate the achievement of reaching one-million man-hours without incident. The Scott County Times was invited to come be a part of the party.

Tyson had more than a couple barbeque grills sizzling as they cooked up enough steaks with all the fixings to make sure that their 1,150 employees and corporate members were more than well-fed. Plant Manager, Steve Langford, gave the green light for Alan Henderson, Safety Manager, Forest Complex, to get the party started.

Henderson kicked off the event by grabbing the microphone and peppering the excited employees with a round of safety questions to which the eager and knowledgeable employees raised their hands high and waved them in the air, competing to be chosen to provide the correct safety answer to win a prize.

The Safety Quiz was very on topic and made a great event fun; however, safety is no game to Tyson Foods when it comes to the health and well-being of their employees.

Tyson Foods explains, “We value our employees and want to make sure they stay safe on the job. That’s why providing a safe place to work is so important to us. We have extensive safety and health training, programs and policies in place at all of our facilities.”

“To help emphasize this priority, in 2010 we started the ‘I Got Your Back!’ safety accountability campaign. This campaign gives our Team Members the power and responsibility to stop a co-worker if they see them doing something that could result in an injury or create a safety hazard. Tyson Foods is continually investing in workplace safety.

“We’re also actively involved in ergonomics, which is the science of making the workplace fit the worker. Our efforts in this area include developing, making and installing equipment or tools designed to eliminate physically demanding jobs or make them easier.”

Each year, Tyson honors locations that achieved specific safety metrics for the year. Awards are presented to managers, and the winners are recognized in various communications to Team Members. The awards help the company reinforce the values of providing a safe workplace for Team Members.

Historically, Tyson’s injury and illness rates have been above the Bureau of Labor Statistics industry rate. The award criteria brings awareness to this issue, promotes continual improvement, and recognizes those locations for making significant reductions in these rates.

During Fiscal Year 2013, the company awarded 73 locations the Injury Free Workplace Award, nine Platinum Safety Awards, and 13 Gold Safety Awards. In addition to the award process, they continue to encourage  locations to apply for federal, state, and local safety awards as well as awards from trade organizations.

In FY 2013, Tyson received three safety awards from the National Safety Council of the Ozarks. The EHS team has experts in occupational safety, industrial hygiene, health care, ergonomics, process safety, loss prevention, transportation safety, and other specialists who serve in key health and safety roles at the corporate and plant levels.

Through formal safety and ergonomic committees, management and non-management Team Members partner and meet regularly to continually improve their plant’s health and safety performance. Team Members spend many hours each year training to work safely and to have a clear understanding of possible health and safety hazards related to their job.

Plant managers in operations train regularly throughout their career in health and safety processes and emerging best practices, and we maintain programs that support the continued professional education and development of our safety and health managers. Frequent, rigorous safety audits from both plant and corporate EHS professionals are essential parts of the continual improvement in facility safety and transportation safety.

Tyson’s ergonomic programs have helped reduce workplace injuries and illnesses for many years, and they continue to improve them. Strong partnerships with  Team Members, government agencies, and others have led to remarkable progress.

Occupational Health Services program provides nurses and health-care professionals who manage cases of work-related injuries or illnesses and offer Team Members numerous health services, ranging from information related to diet, nutrition, and communicable diseases to providing health screenings and influenza vaccines.

In addition, transportation safety professionals help  create clear step-by-step guides and other information about regulations, best practices in safety, and training for operations and transportation Team Members.