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2004 Worker Safety Awards Winners Announced at AMI Conference

Friday, April 30, 2004

Arlington, VA, -- AMI announced the 2004 Worker Safety Award winners at the annual AMI Foundation-National Safety Council Safety Recognition Awards Program. The awards dinner was held during the Worker Safety, Health and Human Resources Conference April 18 – 20, in Phoenix, Ariz.

"For many years, we he had the highest injury and illness rates of any industry. While we’ve still got a ways to go, we no longer hold that title," said Stewart Owens, Chairman of the Board, AMI, speaking at the awards ceremony. Owens continued, "Rather, I want us to be known as leaders in the field, as problem solvers who transformed an industry with many unique worker safety and ergonomic challenges into one that is known for reinventing its worker safety image and transforming its worker safety performance."

Worker safety is a “non-competitive issue” within the meat and poultry industry, meaning companies share best practices and ideas to help one another.

In total, 107 plants were recognized for progress in reducing illness and injury rates and enhancing workplace safety. The highest award given is the Award of Honor. Awards are based on an evaluation of each eligible plant’s actual safety performance as well as its implementation of various key components of an effective safety program questionnaire. A listing of award winners can be found on the AMI Web site.

Since 1990, when AMI and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) co-wrote the "Ergonomics Program Management Guidelines for Meatpacking Plants", there has been a major decrease in injury and illness rates. At that time, the "Total Recordable Incidence Rate" for the meat and poultry industry was over 40 percent. By 1996, it declined to 21.5; in 2002 the total recordable rate was reduced to 11.5 percent.

In Oct. 2002, OSHA and AMI established an Alliance to better use their collective expertise to help foster a culture of prevention while sharing best practices and technical knowledge, especially in the area of ergonomics.

For detailed information and a listing of award winners, go to www.MeatAMI.com, Labor/ Environment, Worker Safety section.

The American Meat Institute Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit research, education and information foundation established by the American Meat Institute to study ways the meat and poultry industry can produce better, safer products and operate more efficiently.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Senior VP, Public Affairs
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs

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