Health & Safety

Our Health & Safety Goal

  • Reduce employee injury rates


Our Health & Safety Targets

  • Meet or beat general manufacturing industry national average for injuries
  • All safety and operations leadership trained to 10-hour General Industry training programs
  • Host Safety Roundtable meetings at all locations
  • Increase formal employee engagement to 25% by fiscal 2015

Historically, the meatpacking and processing industry has ranked among the most hazardous professions in the United States. Ensuring our employees’ safety is a top priority for our company. Our extensive safety systems and programs, which go well beyond regulatory requirements, protect employees while reducing our workers’ compensation costs. We’re proud to say we have seen significant declines in our injury rates in recent years.

Prior to 2010, our target had been to meet or beat safety averages for our own industry. When we began surpassing those, we established new targets to meet or beat general industry averages for three performance metrics we report to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Total Case Rate (TCR); Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART); and Days Away From Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII). This shift is significant because injury rates are much lower averaged across all industries than they are for the meat industry alone.

In calendar year 2012, worker injury rates continued to decline, resulting in the lowest injury and illness rates in the company’s history. Two of our operating companies—Smithfield Packing and Farmland Foods, which have since combined into Smithfield Farmland—had incident rates that we believe will fall below the national averages for all industries.1 However, we tragically experienced two worker fatalities in calendar 2012.

Overall as a company, we beat the injury rates for the meat industry and made progress toward our general industry target. Our company-wide TCR and DART rates dropped by 13 percent and 21 percent, respectively, while our DAFWII rate finished 12 percent lower than the previous year.

In recent years, we have advanced our health and safety systems by updating our Employee Injury Prevention Management System (EIPMS) audit process and conducting further EIPMS and auditor-certification trainings. In fiscal 2013, we rolled out our behavioral risk improvement (BRI) process at several new facilities.

1 National 2012 industry safety data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics had not been released when this report was produced. The comparison of Smithfield performance to 2012 industry averages is calculated on projections based on industry trends from the last five years.

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