Our Commitment

At JBS USA, we believe that safety is essential to our success. We do not tolerate unsafe working conditions and are committed to providing safe work environments for our team members across all JBS USA facilities.

Team member health and safety is an integral component of our 2020 sustainability strategy. We developed aggressive goals in the U.S. to improve team member health and safety year over year.

2020/Goals

Team Member Health and Safety

We improved our Safety Index performance by 56%, surpassing our goal of 10%.

*Goal set for our U.S. and Canadian facilities 

Our Management Approach

Our safety policies, governance structure and management approach are designed to promote a safe work culture for our more than 100,000 team members. The JBS USA Occupational Health and Safety Management System focuses on training and educating our team members and eliminating work hazards. The system meets relevant government requirements in each country. We defer to governing bodies like those listed below to evaluate the effectiveness of external safety audit processes, collect feedback and make necessary adjustments. 

Our U.S. and Puerto Rican facilities operate in alignment with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. In Europe, our programs meet the Health Safety Executive RIDDOR (Reporting of Incidents Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations.  

In Australia, each jurisdiction enforces their own Work Health and Safety Act and regulations, and our facilities comply with them in each region. Our overarching safety management system framework in Australia aligns with the National Audit Tool (NAT) for self-insurers, which is based on the Australian Standard 4804 Occupational Health and Safety Management and Australian Standard 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.  

In Mexico, our team tracks data according to the government Secretaria del Trabajo and the Safety and Health regulations, which comply with OSHA standards.

In Canada, our Health and Safety Management System is aligned with the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) law. In addition, our facility is a holder of a Certificate of Recognition (COR) through a certified auditor, Alberta Food Processing Association (AFPA).  

Each JBS USA facility has a Safety Manager who reports to the General Manager. In total, we have more than 800 team members whose roles and responsibilities are dedicated to the health and safety of team members in our facilities. In addition, every facility also has a safety committee, which is chaired by the facility Safety Manager and consists of hourly team members, union representatives (where applicable) and key senior management. Approximately 3-15% of all team members are engaged in these committees, providing representation for 100% of the workforce. The facility safety managers and safety teams analyze work environment and physical hazards and propose innovative strategies, aligned with the hierarchy of controls, to keep our workplace safe. 

Each JBS USA business unit has a Head of Safety who reports to the Head of Human Resources or Head of Operations, who report to the Head of Operations or the President of that business unit. There is also a corporate safety and human resources team that supports all JBS USA business units by further analyzing data and tracking programs across the company. The Heads of Safety at JBS USA sit on a corporate Safety Leadership Committee. This committee meets regularly to discuss safety standards and best practices. 

Every Head of Safety also participates in the Executive Safety Council. This Council consists of executives from across the company, inclusive of business unit Presidents, Vice Presidents, Heads of Operations, Heads of Engineering, Heads of Human Resources and the Heads of Safety. The council meets regularly to discuss outcomes and progress and review recommended changes from the Safety Leadership Committee. Finally, safety performance is a material driver of executive-level bonuses.   

To ensure successful implementation of our health and safety policies, safety data is integrated across a shared digital platform, allowing us to better share best practices and identify enterprise wide trends. This enables us to develop data-driven corrective actions to our processes, including team member observations, safety inspections and audits. We also update our safety programs regularly by detailing new challenges, auditing techniques and providing straightforward solutions. Our safety teams focus on safety training, performance, measurement and the sharing of best practices across all of the JBS USA business units. 

If a team member notices an unsafe act or unsafe condition, we empower them to speak up and make sure unsafe acts are stopped and unsafe conditions are made safe. Everyone is empowered to report and correct unsafe acts and conditions without fear of retribution. Each team member is also empowered to remove themselves from any situation they deem to be unsafe.  

To continuously improve, we set companywide and facility-specific safety goals each year and track leading safety indicators weekly. These leading indicators include monitoring observations for unsafe behaviors, working surfaces, machine guarding, safety gaps, electrical safety, drive cam coaching effectiveness, preventable vehicle accident rates and corrective actions. Performance is reported daily, weekly and monthly to management teams so that decisions that impact health and safety can be made swiftly and have the utmost priority. All of our operations supervisors are required to conduct multiple safety observations each week. The intent of these safety observations is to identify unsafe behaviors and intervene with helpful coaching prior to the occurrence of an unsafe act, condition or injury. 

We also track traditional lagging indicators, such as Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers (DART) rate and Lost Time rate. We consistently outperform industry averages in TRIR and DART rate and continue to work to improve the performance of our health and safety programs.  

We also track a Safety Index for each facility which measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality.  

Promoting Team Member Health

We recognize and respond to the occupational health concerns and needs of all team members, and we are in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations governing occupational healthcare delivery. JBS USA has a Director of Occupational Health, who provides continual improvements to our health protocols and ongoing training to our Occupational Health Staff to further share and implement best practices across all of our facilities. 

Our Ergonomic Improvement Program is designed to reduce the effects of repetition, contact stress and static postures. The program is tailored for each facility to control or eliminate potential conditions or work activities that pose ergonomic risks at each particular site. Our managers take ergonomic improvements seriously and conduct annual training and assessments to continually improve the program. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for team members is standard across JBS USA. Our Facility Safety Managers conduct workplace hazard assessments regularly to assess PPE needs and provide training and technical assistance to team members to ensure effective PPE usage. 

Health and Safety Training and Education Program

We center our Occupational Health and Safety Management System on training and education, as well as controlling or eliminating job-related hazards, to reduce the number of work-related injuries and illnesses throughout our facilities. Our in-depth safety training consists of new team member orientation, job- and task-specific training, departmental safety meetings and refresher training for team members every month. All newly hired team members must complete both classroom and department-specific training. We use the Alchemy Training system, which makes safety training available in multiple languages. We have written job-safety analyses for all of our positions.

Increasing Our Focus On Prevention

In the U.S., we have prioritized a comprehensive safety audit project to identify and reduce potential hazards. We have shifted our enterprise wide focus to early detection, including an in-depth review of policies and programs related to walking surfaces, protection from and prevention of falls or slips, electrical safety, machine guarding and ergonomics.

Based on the results of these audits, each year, we identify three high-priority initiatives—one that is companywide, one that is business unit-wide and two that are prioritized by each facility.

Our focus in 2020 was machine guarding with an emphasis on conveyor guarding.  In 2021 our focus is fall prevention and identification and elimination of any fall hazards. This is a continuation and further focus from previous years fall prevention programs with a focus on identified walk paths, stairs, and carrying objects.

Additionally, each facility undergoes an ergonomics audit annually, where ergonomic issues are identified, logged, and remediated within a reasonable period of time.

We continue to increase our focus on prevention by improving our observation process to enhance our measurement and ultimately our performance of leading safety indicators.

For example, our Safety Observation Process makes sure that our supervisors are observing and identifying unsafe acts and workplace conditions, as well as coaching team members to proactively change and challenge unsafe behaviors. This allows us to use data collection, analysis and coaching to prevent potential injuries from occurring. Our reporting includes a leading indicator dashboard that is tracked weekly according to targets and includes monitoring observations for unsafe behaviors, working surfaces, machine guarding, safety gaps, electrical safety, drive cam coaching effectiveness, preventable vehicle accident rates and corrective actions. In addition, we have incorporated more team members, including hourly, salaried and management, into our Safety Observation Process to create a culture of ownership with regard to team member health and safety. We track our performance and improvements through safety-gap scorecards and corrective action logs.

Corrective Actions

While we focus on education, training, process improvements and cultural accountability, accidents do occur, and we must acknowledge, report and learn from safety-related incidents. We have a formal Incident Investigation Procedure to investigate and reduce, mitigate or eliminate injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The incident investigation process assists operations in preventing the recurrence of similar incidents and in identifying injury and illness trends, potential weaknesses or failures in our safety management and proximate and root causes of incidents. This process allows us to develop effective corrective action plans. In addition, within each business unit, locations regularly share incident investigation information to facilitate learning and prevention.

 

Audits

Each year, every location undergoes a comprehensive safety management system audit, a fleet safety audit and an occupational health audit. In addition, since 2015, JBS USA has conducted comprehensive safety analysis audits to identify and reduce potential hazards.

Independent Contractors

Although our contracted workforce is a small portion of our total workforce, we take our responsibility for their health and safety seriously. We partner with a third party to ensure that our contractors meet our health and safety standards. In the U.S. and Canada, contractors are required to have an “A” or “B” grade to work at our facilities. Those contractors with “C” and “F” grades must have a variance form on file granted by the site Safety and Health Manager and the General Manager. Contractor grades are derived from Contract Safety Information, which includes safety, injury and illness statistics; aggregate insurance requirements, OSHA inspection history, workers’ compensation experience modifier (EMR), OSHA forms 300 and 300A, written health, safety and environmental programs, safety-training documentation; and JBS Foods’ safety briefing online training.

In Australia, all independent contractors are required to meet the Australian Standard 4804 Occupational Health and Safety Management and the Australian Standard 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.

In Mexico and Europe, all independent contractors are required to meet our health and safety standards.

Innovation to Improve Safety

We continue to find new ways to leverage cutting edge technologies to enhance team member safety and implement virtual reality technology to train team members on food and team member safety protocol.

In parallel with our increased focus on preventing injuries, our partnership with Scott Technology, a leading global developer of automation and robotic solutions, has allowed us to decrease the potential for injuries and identify solutions to safety and automation challenges by establishing cross-functional teams to identify ways to utilize their technology. For example, we have a goal to transition to BladeStop Bandsaws, which are designed to reduce serious injuries by mechanically stopping the blade when the unit senses the operator has come in contact with the blade. In addition to BladeStop technology, Pilgrim’s has partnered with Scott to develop an automated whole bird trussing machine, and in Australia, two of our lamb production facilities have implemented automated lamb deboning technology from Scott. In addition, various business units have piloted wearable technology and many facilities are using machines to validate knife sharpness and perform calibrated knife sharpening to ensure team members are performing their duties in the most ergonomically optimal manner possible. As a result of this innovative technology, the number of injuries has been further reduced.

We are upgrading our current safety and health system with a new and innovative system which will further assist with root cause analysis, trend analysis, and further our data driven insights. We have installed robotic knife sharpeners in several facilities as well; which allows for consistently sharper knives and results in reduced strains and reduced repetitive motion issues. We are also expanding our use of wearable technologies to map body movement and assist with identifying both improvement opportunities for training and which processes should be changed to further minimize the impact on any team member.

2020 Progress

United States

In 2020, we reduced our DART rate by 12%, decreased our TRIR by 13%, and improved our Safety Index score by 56%. In 2019, JBS USA’s DART rate was 11% below the industry average. Unfortunately, in 2020 we had one fatality in the U.S. We will continue to strive for improved company performance around safety, and allocate resources and tools to better understand and identify opportunities and improve the safety of our team members.

JBS USA and Pilgrim's* DART Rate and TRIR Compared to Industry Averages and Safety Index

  • JBS USA and Pilgrim's DART Rate
  • Industry Average DART Rate***
  • JBS USA and Pilgrim's TRIR
  • Industry Average TRIR***

* Includes all facilities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada

** Industry averages not yet available

*** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Animal Slaughtering and Processing

****Safety Index measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality.

Europe

Our Pilgrim’s Moy Park and Pilgrim’s UK teams track data according to the Health Safety Executive RIDDOR (Reporting of Incidents Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations, and in accordance with OSHA standards. Our teams across Europe have reduced DART rate 21% from 2019 to 2020 and improved the Safety Index 56% from 2019 to 2020.

Pilgrim’s Europe* DART Rate and Safety Index

*Data includes Pilgrim’s Moy Park and Pilgrim’s UK

** Safety Index measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality.

Mexico

In Mexico, our team tracks data according to the government Secretaria del Trabajo and the Safety and Health regulations, which comply with OSHA standards. Our team has continued to reduce DART rate and improve our Safety Index score year over year. We decreased our DART rate by 50% and improved our Safety Index score by 33% from 2019 to 2020.

Pilgrim’s Mexico DART Rate and Safety Index

*Safety Index measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality. 

Canada

In Canada, we track safety data according to the Worker Compensation Board (WCB-Alberta), which complies with OSHA standards. Year over year, our team has consistently reduced the Lost Time Rate, and in 2020, we reduced this further by 71%. In 2020 our team also improved the Safety Index score 13% compared to 2019. We will continue to stay focused on safety to reduce the Modified/Restricted Duties rate.

JBS Canada Lost Time Rate, Modified/Restricted Duties Rate and Safety Index

  • Modified/Restricted Duties Rate
  • Lost Time Rate

*Safety Index measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality. 

Australia

In Australia, our teams continued to decrease Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) by 5% and and improved the Safety Index by 17% compared to 2019.

JBS Australia LTIFR and Safety Index

**Safety Index measures the frequency of severe incidents per hour of operation. A severe incident is defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, fracture or second or third degree burns resulting in greater than five days lost time, any injury resulting in greater than five days lost time or a fatality.