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Tracking Safety Data Protects Workers

The Pork Checkoff has introduced a new web-based system to benchmark on-farm worker safety status, including a farm’s safety incidence rate, DART rates (days away, restricted or transferred to other duties due to a safety issue) and worker compensation costs.

The Safety Benchmarking Database will house producer workplace safety information and create reports so producers can compare their operation with the aggregate of all participants. Participation will be voluntary, with farm information held by a third party and only accessible to the Pork Checkoff and others in aggregate form. If producers choose, information can be provided for production areas within a farm system.

The Pork Checkoff is committed to continuous improvement in worker safety. Providing a safe work environment is also one of the six We CareSM ethical principles.

“Worker safety is important to every farm, regardless of the number of employees,” says Bill Winkelman, vice president of producer and industry relations for the Pork Checkoff. “Checkoff training and education continues to include key safety components. But until the launch of the Safety Benchmarking Database, we had no way as an industry to identify safety concerns that need to be addressed.”

Identifying the biggest needs in terms of frequency or cost of incidents will allow the Pork Checkoff to build resources to train employees on how to minimize risks or to change designs within farms to reduce exposure.

“Improving the safety record of the industry demonstrates our commitment to creating a safe work environment,” Winkelman said. “The Safety Benchmarking Database will be valuable to producers because they can see how their farm’s safety record compares with other operations and identify opportunities for improvement.”

To learn more about the Safety Benchmarking Database, including how to participate, visit pork.org/
safetybenchmarking.

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