Safety, Health and Wellness
Darigold is committed to the safety and well-being of every worker. Darigold is pursuing improved safety with intensified vigor – in transport and in our processing facilities. Over the past few years, Darigold has reorganized and increased staffing in our facilities’ safety departments, and made employee wellness screenings available at processing plants.
Our goals are zero safety incidents, zero lost-time accidents, and steady progress every year toward zero. Our safety rates have been somewhat variable over the past 10 years. We are seeing a positive trend in Total Incident Rate (TIR) and Lost-Time Rate (LTR) since 2013. Overall, though, our performance is below our aspirations, and our injury rates are too high. (Darigold’s injury rates, after several years of being better than industry average, are currently worse than U.S. dairy processing industry averages: in 2014 and 2015, the average safety rates in dairy processing plants in the U.S. were approximately Total Incident Rate of 5.5 and Lost-Time Rate of 1.8.)
An expanded look at the data reveals that even in comparison to our most recent best performance (2015), our lost-time injury rates back in 2008 and 2009 were substantially better. In 2008 and 2009, our LTR was 0.62 and 0.70, respectively. The major spike in our injury rates occurred in 2013 and continued into 2014, and was related to our having lost or not having in place enough expert safety managers. This was troubling to us and so in 2015, we completely re-organized our Safety Department, installing a technically qualified team, with specific degrees and field experience in safety across the entire company. Now every Darigold plant has a safety manager, and we are implementing strong safety initiatives. Our safety rates have begun trending back down, and we remain deeply committed to continuing to drive ever harder toward our goal of zero injuries.
One additional place where Darigold manages safety is in the control of chemical inventories in our plants, a requirement under the jurisdiction of the Homeland Security Act. We have increased our plant security measures and continue to do so. New security fencing was installed in Boise and new processes and procedures are being implemented at all our plant locations.
Health & Wellness
Darigold has made a number of changes to employee wellness-related benefits over the past four years. These changes are summarized briefly here.
We added a high-deductible plan option to our two more traditional plans alongside an employer Health Savings Account contribution.
We also moved from a single contribution rate structure to a two-tiered medical rate structure based on wellness categories.
We moved our medical contributions to a three-tiered wellness based contribution rates structure.
We also introduced a Roth option to our 401k plan.
We moved our medical plan from a 3-plan option structure to a 2-option structure, offering a traditional style PPO plan and a high-deductible health plan. This year, vision was carved out to become a separate cafeteria plan option.
DARIGOLD SUPPORTS PREVENTIVE HEALTHCARE
In May through August 2016, Darigold sponsored employee biometric screenings at all 11 locations. The screenings help employees track health risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol and Body Mass Index (BMI), which are important for prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Employees are able to make choices for a healthier lifestyle.