Safety is No Accident

Safety is No Accident

Fort Morgan Plant Celebrates Eight Years with No Lost-Time Accidents

Employees at Dairy Farmers of America, Inc.’s (DFA) Fort Morgan, Colo., plant recently reached a milestone that affirms their commitment to safety. This week, the plant’s 56 employees are celebrating a total of eight years — 2,920 days — with no lost-time accidents.

“This is an exciting milestone for us,” says Tom Cotter, plant manager. “But just because we’ve reached eight years doesn’t mean we’re finished. Our goal is to hit nine next year.”

Although the plant’s safety programs are driven by the Cooperative’s Risk Management division, employees can voice concerns or ideas to their safety committee members or management at any time. Eight years ago, a safety committee was developed to specifically address plant employees’ safety concerns.

New employees spend two to four days in safety training, and safety refresher quizzes are conducted during 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day review periods.

With this milestone accomplished, plant management is now working toward certification through Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.

“We realize that good is not good enough,” Cotter says. “We want to exceed and continue to build upon our safety record.”

In addition to safety, the plant set a new record in April after processing 76 million pounds of milk. During the past year, the plant averaged 63 million pounds of milk per month. This achievement was made possible in part by a $23 million expansion to increase the plant’s capacity for milk by 2 million pounds per day. The expansion was completed in spring 2009.

The plant produces whole and condensed milk, cream and nonfat dry milk, which are used as ingredients to make cheese, yogurt, drinkable yogurt snacks and ice cream.

06.16.2011