Increased focus on safety pays off for Dairy Farmers of America Fort Morgan plant

June 4, 2007

Fort Morgan, Colo. - Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) is pleased to announce that its Fort Morgan, Colo., plant has been accident free for 1,460 days. Diligent training of plant personnel, as well as an active safety committee, has kept all 44 employees safe and on the job for more than four years. This is a milestone for the plant which has been charting its progress.

“The people working on the floor each day make safety a habit,” says Tom Cotter, plant manager. “They take the time to do things correctly and make sure their environment is safe before starting a job. If it’s not right, they do not proceed until all safety issues have been resolved.

“Practicing good safety habits is key for us,” Cotter says. “The biggest benefit is that our employees are healthy. They arrive at work and can complete their jobs and when they are off the job their home life has not been impacted because of an incident at work.”

The company benefits too, by realizing savings from worker’s compensation and permanent disability claims. In the past few years DFA has increased its focus on a Company-wide effort to reduce worker’s compensation claims. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc., medical claim costs are increasing at double digit rates. This has not been the case at DFA.

At Fort Morgan, the employees, who produce sweet cream, skim condense and nonfat dry milk, are trained on a variety of safety measures annually. New employees are required to complete a training course before they work on the production floor. The plant’s safety committee conducts monthly meetings and aids supervisors in observing correct and incorrect behaviors. Employees who are observed practicing safe behaviors are rewarded for their efforts. Similar programs are taking place at DFA’s other facilities as well.