Tyson announces worker safety program

by Joel Crews
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SPRINGDALE, Ark. – As part of Tyson Foods Inc.’s newly created health and safety management structure, the company announced on Oct. 26, it is embarking on a pilot project to enhance worker safety. The company, which employs more than 113,000 workers throughout 400-plus facilities in the US and beyond, has named Greg Spencer as the leader of the Tyson Foods’ Health and Safety Department with the goals of improving workplace safety communication, awareness and practices while compiling data about safety in its operations. Initially, the program is being launched at nine of its processing plants to establish benchmarks for a worker-safety campaign that will ultimately be implemented throughout all of the company’s operations.

“We’re committed to providing a safe work environment, as well as training and skills for our team members to be safe at work,” said Mike Roetzel, group vice president of operation services, in a press release.

A 31-year employee of Tyson, Spencer most recently served in a leadership position in the retail value-added poultry business segment. Through the years, he has worked in a variety of roles, from plant operations to live production as well as in leadership roles in the company’s poultry and prepared foods business units.

“Along with enhancing goals to reduce and eliminate work-related injuries and illnesses, we’ll be continuing efforts to improve workplace health through ergonomics, the science of making the workplace fit the worker,” Spencer said. “Sometimes we can prevent a repetitive injury by modifying a workspace or providing different tools.”

The new program is designed to bolster the company’s already-established worker-safety policies and structure.
According to Tyson, it currently employs 500 health and safety professionals in roles that include occupational safety, industrial hygiene, health care, ergonomics, process safety, loss prevention and transportation safety. Among other goals, Tyson’s pilot program is designed to lay the foundation for making communication about worker safety issues an even bigger priority.

“We’ve always listened to what team members tell us about their experiences, but we’re learning how to give everyone at Tyson Foods a louder voice by encouraging a culture of communication about health and safety,” Spencer said.
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