ORLANDO, Fla. – During the general session at the 71st Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference on Aug. 22 in Orlando, Florida, National Underwriter Property and Casualty awarded Merriam, Kansas-based Seaboard Foods with the award of Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management. The award recognizes achievement in worker safety, safety team development and prioritizing safety throughout the connected food system, resulting in lower claims for workers’ compensation.

Companies awarded the Excellence in Workers’ Compensation Risk Management Award display successful loss-control, safety and return-to-work programs along with ability to manage workers’ compensation.

Seaboard Foods reduced the workers’ compensation claims by nearly 50 percent and the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims by 70 percent. In the past year, Seaboard Foods’ recordable incident rate, days away, restricted or transferred (DART) rate and lost time incident rate, are roughly half of its industry peers’ rates when measured against reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We took a holistic approach to employee safety and workers compensation. The first step was developing a system of meaningful data, which allowed leadership to prioritize opportunities and take action. We implemented a comprehensive program for injury and claim management from triage care to maximum improvement,” said Kay Stinson, vice president of human resources and animal care in a statement. “Our approach to diagnose workers early with specialized medical treatment and doctors right at the time of injury, instead of general practitioners, helped us return our team members back to work and their personal lives in the most effective way possible.”

Seaboard Foods’ statement went on to credit the leadership team, management and team members’ commitment to create a safe work environment, resulting in one third of injuries from ever occurring as a critical piece to earning the award.