Officials with Wayne Farms Pendergrass Fresh Facility recently announced the plant reached an important safety milestone, achieving 3 million hours with no lost-time work injuries.
The facility has remained injury-free since October 2017, a testimony to plant leadership, robust training programs and employee involvement, according to Pendergrass Complex Manager and long-time Wayne Farms employee Ron Rogers.
"Accidents don’t just happen - every investigation shows they have a cause. So from top to bottom, we focus on people being tuned in to the work environment and eliminating accidents by avoiding risks," Rogers said in a press statement.
Wayne Farms Pendergrass produces millions of chickens each year, which represents about 40,000 weekly labor hours, according to Rogers. With approximately 1,200 employees and facilities ranging from plant production and hatchery operations to more than 130 local farms across northeast Georgia, the potential for accidents encompasses everything from manufacturing to transportation.
Corporate and complex safety managers, working directly with supervisors and line employees, developed an ongoing program of awareness that ultimately led to 75 straight weeks without a reportable accident.
"You get to 3 million hours one hour and one employee at a time,” said Rogers. “Engaging our workforce through training, workplace awareness and constant emphasis was the key - they know it benefits everyone here and they take it seriously.”
Wayne Farms’ Corporate Safety Zero-Accident Culture program has infused a “never-ending push for safer job performance right down to the individual,” said Senior Director Reggie McLee, who directs Wayne Farms safety programs across the company.
"Programs help guide things, but people like we have in our Pendergrass facility make it happen," said McLee.
Wayne Farms LLC is the seventh-largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S. with annual sales exceeding $2 billion.