Tyson Foods’ safety goal is to prevent all workplace injuries and illnesses. Tyson Foods promotes a culture that values the health and safety of its Team Members. We “strive to provide a safe work environment for our Team Members,” and we are committed to making sure they return home to their families as healthy and safe as when they came to work.

Additionally, “we care about one another,” aspire to have zero injuries and serious illnesses, and are working to build a safety culture that believes all incidents resulting in an injury or illness can be prevented. Thus, eliminating workplace hazards and risks, creating engineering solutions, and using administrative controls and personal protective equipment where necessary, are standards of continual improvement in our safety culture. View our Environmental, Health, and Safety Policy.

Change Initiatives – Striving for Continual Improvement
It takes hard work and consistent focus to elevate injury prevention and ensure safety is at the top of everyone’s mind. We believe in the practice of developing and implementing periodic changes in the structures, awards and recognitions, and processes of safety programs to drive improvement in our safety culture and performance. The results of these changes have yielded lower frequencies of injury and illness and reduced severity rates compared to previous years. We believe these improvements are the results of our Team Members’ hard work and dedication to safety.

In fiscal year 2010, we launched a three-year strategy designed to improve Tyson Foods’ safety performance. This strategy, covering fiscal years 2010 through 2012, targets several key safety areas. Following is a brief overview of each main area.

  • "I Got Your Back!" Safety Program Poster “I Got Your Back!” Safety Communication Campaign
    To ensure our safety success, we must eliminate unsafe acts and conditions. In fiscal year 2010, we developed and released our “I Got Your Back!” safety accountability campaign. This campaign gives Team Members the power and responsibility to stop fellow Team Members if they see them doing something that could result in an injury or create a safety hazard for themselves or someone else. There are three basic ways in which Team Members can report unsafe acts and conditions, including communicating Team Member to Team Member, Team Member to supervisor or manager, and contacting the Tyson Help Line anonymously. Whichever option a Team Member elects to use, they are asked to stop and report the unsafe act or condition observed. The emphasis is to work as a team, because we believe injuries and illnesses are unacceptable and preventable through timely and effective communication.

  • Workers’ Compensation Safety Score
    During fiscal years 2011 and 2012, Tyson Foods modified its internal scoring process for safety performance. After five years of experience with a three-part weighted scoring system, we experienced a reduction in traditional injury and illness indicators of performance while, at the same time, a rise in workers’ compensation costs. As a result, we evaluated the scoring system and determined an increased focus on the details of our workers’ compensation data was needed. Our new scoring process, introduced at the beginning of fiscal year 2012, focuses on the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims and provides a monthly score to each operating location based on the experience of its workforce. The score provides an analytical tool to managers for understanding the details of injury and illness prevention and cost control.

  • Identified Hazard and Near-Miss Reporting Card “5-Why” Root Cause Analysis
    Conducting a thorough root cause analysis is an important step in learning from near miss events or actual injury and illness incidents. At Tyson Foods, we follow a systematic method to establish an understanding of the root cause of incidents and develop corrective and preventative measures to eliminate the recurrence of similar incidents. The steps we follow identify the basic who, what, when, where, why, and how of a near miss or injury/illness incident. Once these key factors are identified, we ask a series of yes/no questions followed by “why” after each question. This process not only drives us to the root cause or causes of a near miss or injury/illness incident, it is institutionalized across our company and practiced daily.

  • Job Safety Analysis Refresh
    An accurate, detailed Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a valuable tool for improving our overall safety performance. All Tyson Foods’ operating locations have undergone a process to review and refresh their JSAs, using a common template containing job tasks, identified hazards, actions for controlling or eliminating hazards, and ergonomic aspects. The primary purpose of this initiative is to improve our JSA process by keeping information fresh and clearly documented for our Team Members.

  • Zone Hazard Analysis
    Tyson Foods’ facilities have undertaken a simple, but important, task to map workplaces into smaller areas or departments identified as “zones.” After mapping is complete, facility management teams can perform a series of checks and balances to identify “hot spots” where serious injuries and illnesses have occurred or could occur in the future, and then implement prompt corrective and preventative action. We believe establishing a systematic process for identifying high-injury zones and taking a closer look at the “zone” details will drive continuous safety improvement.

  • Temporary Transitional Duty Process
    When a Team Member experiences a work-related injury or illness, it is important to have consistent guidelines for supporting the Team Member’s recovery and safe return to their pre-injury or illness status; maintaining the Team Member’s income; reducing the medical costs of workers’ compensation claims due to extended work absences; and promoting Team Member good will.

    Tyson Foods’ Temporary Transitional Duty Process provides opportunities for Team Members to return to work and perform value-added tasks which are consistent with their medically documented restrictions set forth by an authorized treating physician. Managed by the company’s occupational-health-nursing professionals who work in concert with human resources, facility managers, safety supervisors, local physicians, and other health-care professionals, this process may include regular duties performed on a modified work schedule or a temporarily modified version of regular duties, or an alternate light-duty job. This team approach provides proper review, assignment, and understanding of the temporary, transitional, and restricted assignments among the affected Team Members, the local facility management teams, and other health-care providers.

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders Health Management Program Modifications
    Tyson Foods follows a systematic approach for the early reporting, intervention, evaluation, and conservative treatment of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) of the upper extremities, neck and back. The process begins with an initial evaluation by facility-based occupational health nurses, prompted by training with Team Members and supervisors who are instructed to watch for any early signs and symptoms of MSDs, and progresses through a series of steps including medical provider referral when necessary. This proactive, innovative approach has been in place for more than 20 years and, with an aim toward prompt attention and conservative treatment, we are able to identify subjective complaints of discomfort or objective findings and take immediate action to keep our Team Members healthy.

  • Post Offer Employment Testing Pilot
    In search of a cost-effective program to reduce workers’ compensation and disability claims, Tyson Foods has initiated a pilot program of physical abilities testing at two poultry processing facilities. The Post Offer Employment Testing (POET) program is a screening process that evaluates new hire applicants to ensure they safely meet essential job demands. The POET program evaluates range of motion, dexterity, grip strength, lifting ability, and tolerance of certain positions. We believe this program will help ensure appropriate job placement based on an individual’s physical ability to perform the essential functions of the job.

Management System Approach
All Tyson Foods’ facilities in the United States and Mexico maintain Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Management Systems. The health and safety aspect of this system closely models the requirements set forth in Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001, which is an international occupational health and safety management system specification. Our implementation of this systematic approach to health and safety is voluntary and represents a significant advancement from current industry practices.

EHS Department Health and Safety Staffing
Members of our Environmental, Health and Safety department develop and administer our workplace health and safety programs. This team includes, but is not limited to, occupational safety, industrial hygiene, health care, ergonomic, process safety, loss prevention, and accredited transportation-safety professionals serving in key roles at both the corporate and processing-plant levels. Working in collaboration with our processing plants and other business functions, this team develops and implements programs to:

  • Maintain the health and safety of our Team Members,
  • Comply with all health and safety laws and requirements applicable to our operations,
  • Minimize or prevent property damage or loss,
  • Treat and manage work-related and non-work-related injuries and illnesses,
  • Minimize ergonomic-related risk factors, and
  • Develop solutions for preventing and mitigating losses related to the operation of Commercial Motor Vehicles.

Safety and Ergonomic Committees
Team Members throughout our company work directly with their plant’s management team to identify and eliminate workplace health and safety hazards. 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 through key activities such as education, inspections, and investigations. As of September 29, 2012, approximately 2,400 (less than 25 percent) of our management and non-management Team Members served on safety and ergonomic committees.

Health and Safety Training
Our ability to provide a safe workplace is directly related to the knowledge, skills, and experience of our Team Members. To this end, we maintain a robust health and safety training program that ensures our Team Members have a clear understanding of their health and safety roles and responsibilities.

  • New Team Members receive awareness-level training regarding the health and safety hazards and procedures applicable to most jobs and work areas in their facility. Approximately 30 health and safety topics are discussed during this training.
  • Hourly and management Team Members receive regular health and safety training throughout their career with Tyson Foods. Through site-specific management systems, our facility health and safety professionals identify and document the job-specific health and safety training requirements for each job classification at their facility.
  • We also maintain programs that support the continued professional development of our facility and corporate-based safety and health managers. Initiatives such as new safety manager orientation, occupational health nursing conferences, and special focus workshops ensure our managers have the tools and information they need to be successful in their jobs and create safe and healthy workplaces.

Health and Safety Audits
Our safety and transportation safety audit processes are essential components of responsible business practice and continual improvement. Facility-led audits are informal and involve facility management teams conducting routine checks to ensure program elements and standards are being fulfilled.

Corporate safety and transportation safety professionals conduct compliance audits at each major facility at least every two years. In fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012 these professionals conducted more than 280 facility safety and transportation safety audits. These audits focus on a facility’s implementation and conformance with company standards and applicable safety and transportation safety regulatory requirements. In addition, these same professionals visit every Tyson Foods facility in the U.S. at least once each year to observe safety practices and provide technical assistance and feedback.

Our Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Manager performs quality assurance audits. These audits evaluate the effectiveness of facility-led and corporate-led audits. They also ensure corporate program goals are being met, and assure the value and integrity of the company’s audit process.

Promoting Health and Wellness
We maintain an Occupational Health Services program. This program provides qualified health-care professionals for the management of work-related injuries and illnesses. The program has expanded over the years and now offers Team Members numerous health programs and services ranging from information related to diet, nutrition, and communicable diseases to on-site health screenings and influenza vaccines. Team Members associated with the management of our Occupational Health Services program are committed to reducing workplace injuries and illnesses and to maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of our Team Members. Additionally, our Occupational Health Services team engages with government and non-government organizations as well as health care providers to remain informed of occupational and non-occupational health issues and trends.

Road to Better Health Tour On May 17, 2012, the CIGNA Health Awareness Mobile Learning Lab visited Tyson Foods’ World Headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas. Team Members had an opportunity to experience what extra weight feels like and to learn about portion control and how stress affects their life. Based on their input, Team Members received personalized reports throughout the lab that challenged them to think about ways to inspire or influence healthier lifestyles for themselves, their family, and the community.

Transportation Department Improving Fleet Safety
We remain committed to systematically enhancing the compliant and safe operation of our commercial motor vehicles (CMV), and to mitigating the potential risks associated with their operation. Ensuring our drivers and their managers know what to do and how to do it safely and in compliance is a key element to our transportation compliance and loss-prevention efforts.

We operate under a comprehensive set of internal transportation standards that identify specific management responsibilities and requirements for achieving CMV compliance and loss prevention. These standards address key topics such as hours of service, crash reporting, regulated drug and alcohol testing, driver qualifications, inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Facility managers are responsible for implementing the requirements of the standards and for verifying compliance. Additionally, we maintain the Tyson Foods CMV Driver Safety Manual. This manual is a concise set of requirements and responsibilities identifying what each driver must know about Tyson Foods’ CMV loss prevention and compliance expectations.

The final step of CMV safety excellence is accountability. Our operational standards contain a required self-audit process that includes a review of each regulatory and loss-prevention requirement. We also maintain an assessment program that consists of on-site assessments conducted by corporate-based transportation safety specialists. These assessments review a facility’s compliance with federal, state, and local regulations and company policies, as well as driver performance. If a non-conformance item is identified, an analysis is conducted to determine the root cause and responsible party for correcting the item and putting in place preventative measures to eliminate repeat activity.

Our systematic approach to CMV compliance and loss prevention represents a significant shift from standard industry practice, and allows for efficient communication and implementation of changing regulatory requirements, such as the Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA initiative). We believe providing resources and direction for our managers in the consistent form of operational standards and concise information that drivers need to know, has resulted in an effective CMV loss prevention and compliance program.

We employ various ergonomic programs and strategies to help create a work environment that minimizes Team Member exposure to musculoskeletal risk factors with the potential to affect body parts such as hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and the neck and back. As such, we maintain a very aggressive approach to ergonomics.

  • Facility management teams are required to establish the foundational support their site-specific ergonomics program requires. This includes providing for a written ergonomic program, properly allocated resources, an established chain-of-command, and defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Our ergonomic approach relies upon Team Member participation. Team Member feedback is encouraged during all aspects of worksite analysis, hazard prevention, control, and evaluation of effectiveness of corrective actions, and is used to identify additional jobs or areas of concern.
  • Tyson Foods’ facilities use ergonomic assessment tools to identify, quantify, and prioritize ergonomic risk factors in the workplace. This assessment considers health indicators such as injury and discomfort reports and operational indicators such as productivity problems and absenteeism.
  • Facility management teams and hourly Team Members collaborate to develop and implement engineering, administrative, and work-practice solutions to control ergonomic risk factors.
  • To ensure our ergonomic approach is effective, facility management teams conduct annual program reviews focused on injury-illness rates and severity rates; average lost days per case; average restricted days per case; workers’ compensation costs; percent of ergonomics claims versus total number of claims; average workers’ compensation cost per ergonomic claim; and absenteeism rate and turnover.

We believe this approach to ergonomics helps our Team Members focus on quality work; drives process improvement and increased productivity; reduces the risk factors that could cause musculoskeletal disorders; and improves the overall quality of the work environment.

Our Health and Safety Performance
Tyson Foods measures its health and safety performance using the traditional Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) incident calculations for Lost Time Incident Rate, Total Recordable Incident Rate, and Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate. During fiscal year 2012, the company reduced its Total Recordable Incident Rate by two percent and its Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate by four percent, as compared to its fiscal year 2011 performance.

Safety by the Numbers Chart

By placing greater emphasis on the factors contributing to these rates, we have been able to identify key opportunities for improving our health and safety performance on a site-specific basis. We continue to use special-emphasis teams to conduct on-site reviews at facilities that hold higher than average workers’ compensation costs and injury and illness rates. These teams collaborate with facility management to develop long-term, site-specific action plans designed to reduce workers' compensation claim costs, OSHA incident rates, and safety scores.

Although improvements have been made, we recognize work-related incidents can still occur. During fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, the company experienced six work-related fatalities. We deeply regret these unfortunate events and are working to prevent similar incidents.

Awards and Recognitions
We maintain an award process to recognize facilities with outstanding health and safety performance. We believe this program is meaningful, efficient, and cost effective. Historically, our injury and illness rates have been above the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry rate. Accordingly, our award criteria bring awareness to this issue, to drive continual improvement, and to recognize those facilities that are making significant reductions in these rates. During fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, we awarded 189 facilities our Injury Free Workplace Award, 27 our Platinum Safety Award, and 42 our Gold Safety Award.

In addition to our award process, we continue to encourage our facilities to apply for federal, state, and local safety awards as well as awards from trade organizations. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, four facilities received safety awards from the National Safety Council of the Ozarks. During fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, 15 facilities received a Worker Safety Recognition Award from the American Meat Institute.

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