GARNER, N.C. – Butterball LLC won five awards from The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council, including the “Award of Honor” and the “Award of Distinction,” the institute’s highest safety award. The awards were given at the 2010 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, which took place June 9–11 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The following awards were presented to five of Butterball’s facilities:

* Award of Distinction — Alix, Ark. (feed mill); Huntsville, Ark.; Ozark, Ark. and Mt. Olive, N.C.
* Award of Honor — Carthage, Mo.

“It is an honor to receive this recognition from The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council,” said Brian Rodgers, director of safety and risk management at Butterball. “The awards are validation of our results and they demonstrate that employee safety is a top priority for Butterball.”

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council, which is composed of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation, recognizes chicken and turkey companies that have implemented effective worker safety programs. The multiple award levels were determined by the evaluation of overall incident rates and components of each plant’s safety program.

Consideration for the “Award of Distinction” was based on more than three years of injury statistics and three written applications that were evaluated by judges.

Of the 48 facilities awarded, Butterball was one of eight companies to receive the highest recognition, the “Award of Distinction.” Other categories included “Award of Honor” and “Award of Merit.”

Butterball executives said the company is dedicated to employee safety and is recognized as an industry leader for its distinguished worker safety programs. The company consistently implements practices that lower injury occurrences and encourage high levels of employee participation with success rates significantly higher than industry averages, they added.

Butterball LLC is the largest producer of turkey products in the United States. Based in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces more than 1 billion lbs. of turkey per year, and the company supplies its products to more than 15 countries. Best known for its whole bird products, the company also has a variety of offerings for deli, retail and foodservice.

As the industry leader in quality and food safety, the company employs numerous processes to ensure the health of birds and implements recognized prevention measures to exceed food-safety standards in its seven plants located in North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas and Missouri, according to a news release. In addition, Butterball has surpassed important workplace safety and health benchmarks set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.

The company’s three-pronged approach to Doing Business Right focuses on self-governance, sustainability and social responsibility. The initiative plays a key role in providing internal oversight for integrating values that are important to the company, in particular its efforts to reduce its environmental footprint.