GARNER, NC. – The Butterball LLC production facility in Mount Olive, NC, has earned recertification as a Carolina Star site. 

The certification is a voluntary protection program that falls under the North Carolina Department of Labor.

“We are proud to be part of the Carolina Star program and value our continued partnership with the North Carolina Department of Labor,” said Craig Leviner, complex manager of the Butterball Mount Olive facility. “We are honored to fly the Carolina Star flag in front of our plant, and we believe this certification process has made our facility safer, more effective and more efficient for all who work here.” 

The Carolina Star program recognizes employers and employees who have executed successful safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates that meet the criteria for participation. 

NC Department of Labor’s Carolina Star program is administered through its Education, Training and Technical Assistance Bureau under the OSHA Division.

“We don’t just hand out these Carolina Star awards – they have to be earned,” said Josh Dobson, labor commissioner of North Carolina. “Management and employee buy-in is a critical component of earning the Star designation. I’m here to thank you for your commitment to workplace safety and ongoing partnership with the Department of Labor.” 

Butterball earned its initial Star award in 2008 and has been recertified twice. The Mount Olive facility is the largest employer in the program with 2,600 employees. 

The turkey producer falls under the occupational safety and health process safety management (PSM) of highly hazardous chemical standard. It also participates annually in the Carolina Star Safety Conference and maintains leadership roles on the regional star team.

“Safety has been and will always be a top priority for Butterball. In fact, its importance has been baked into what we call The Butterball Way, the tenets of our ways of working that we hold each Butterball team member to,” said Neal Walsh, chief operating officer for Butterball. “We believe safety is everyone’s job, every day. This recognition demonstrates how the Butterball Way is working in our Mount Olive facility and we’re so proud that our team members have embraced our ‘safety first’ culture.” 

Butterball said it achieved a company-wide total recordable Injury Rate nearly 50% better than the poultry industry Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average. 

The turkey producer explained that other Butterball facilities have also hit major safety milestones, including the company’s Raeford, NC, plant, which achieved more than 3 million hours worked without an OSHA lost-time injury, and in 2021, the Huntsville, Ark., plant achieved more than 5 million hours worked without an OSHA lost-time injury.