Hormel Foods is a leader in the meat industry for employee safety and is known for its award-winning safety programs. Our dedicated corporate safety department develops and administers companywide safety policies to ensure the safety of each employee and compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The corporate safety department also conducts annual safety audits of our manufacturing plants to ensure compliance with company safety policies.

In this Section

Safety Statistics

Our commitment to safety is evidenced by our injury/illness incident rates, which are equal to or below the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industrial average for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 3116 Animal Slaughtering and Processing.

OSHA calculates the Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) as the number of OSHA recordable incidents multiplied by 200,000 hours and divided by the total hours worked that year. In 2011, for TCIR, Hormel Foods manufacturing locations outperformed the BLS industry average by 30 percent with a rate of 4.8. Since 2006, we have reduced our TCIR by 47 percent.

Days Away from Work Injury and Illness (DAFWII) measures an injury or illness that involves one or more days away from work. In 2011, the DAFWII rate at Hormel Foods was 0.7. This is 41 percent lower than the BLS industry average of 1.2. Since 2006, we have reduced our DAFWII rate by 22 percent.

Days Away, Restricted or Transfer (DART) measures the days an employee has restricted work activity or job transfer, or both. In 2011, our DART rate was 3.3. This is 29 percent lower than the BLS industry average of 4.7. Since 2006, we have reduced our DART rate by 46 percent.

Safety Training

Hormel Foods conducts safety training for an average of 15,000 employees and supervisors in our plants each month. In 2011, the “Our Way to Safety” Conference (above) included safety management employees from various company locations, along with members of the corporate safety steering committee.

Our corporate safety department administers the monthly “Our Way to Safety” employee training program. Plant safety managers coordinate monthly “train the trainer” safety meetings for plant supervisors, who in turn train their respective employees. Hormel Foods conducts safety training for an average of 15,000 employees and supervisors in our plants each month, and we complete more than 870 safety assessments each month in our plants. In 2011, Hormel Foods conducted an average of 6,500 lockout-tagout (LOTO) inspections per quarter and held monthly, companywide safety conference calls with plant safety personnel. Additionally, companywide safety conferences are held biennially, and the 2011 Our Way to Safety Conference included safety management employees from all company locations, along with members of the corporate safety steering committee. This year’s theme was “Raising the Safety Bar Together” and focused on the company’s safety process.

Examples of topics covered by the trainings include electrical safety, emergency action plans, ergonomics, bi-annual first aid/CPR/AED, hazard communication, inclement weather, lockout – control of hazardous energy, machine guarding and personal protective equipment. There are 128 AED devices located in Hormel Foods plants and approximately 1,600 trained responders.

Safety Management

Hormel Foods formed the Corporate Safety Steering Committee in 2009 to provide corporatewide safety process leadership to all business units of Hormel Foods and its subsidiaries. Hormel Foods has long been at the forefront of the industry in employee safety and this committee further supports our leadership in this area.

The goals of the committee include:

  • Driving continuous improvement of the safety process;
  • Analyzing key safety metrics and worker compensation trends;
  • Evaluating and approving initiatives that will support continuous improvement of the safety process;
  • Driving standardization of the safety process to all business units; and
  • Demonstrating safety champion commitment to ensure employee safety is the No. 1 priority.

Our Safety, Health and Ergonomic Policy emphasizes our philosophy that safety and ergonomics are a team effort that requires every employee’s participation. Each location operates with a manager responsible for the safety program and a safety committee who meets monthly to ensure that safety policies are implemented and enforced. Companywide, our safety committees are comprised of more than 2,000 hourly and salaried employees. These committees perform monthly safety and ergonomic audits and quarterly security audits, and when necessary, ensure corrective actions are implemented. The committees are also responsible for assisting in the development of the plant’s safety processes.

Safety Excellence Program

Our Safety Excellence Program, which has been in existence since 1994, is designed to promote a safer workplace by heightening employee safety awareness through the recognition of plants that meet or exceed company safety goals. Each year our corporate safety department makes the Safety Excellence criteria more stringent to foster continuous improvement in our safety process. In 2011, 22 plants received the highly coveted Hormel Foods Safety Excellence trophy.

Industry Safety Recognition

Our processing plants annually receive recognition for their outstanding safety performance from the American Meat Institute (AMI). In 2011, the AMI Foundation’s Safety Recognition Award Program recognized Hormel Foods with 18 awards.

Locations receiving prestigious safety awards included:

  • Six plants receiving the AMI Award of Honor, the highest level awarded for outstanding safety performance;
  • One plant received the Award of Merit;
  • Six plants received the Award of Commendation; and
  • Five plants received the Certificate of Recognition award.

The National Safety Council, a non-government, not-for-profit public service organization, develops and administers the program for the AMI Foundation.