The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is accepting applications for the 12th annual Dairy Industry Safety Recognition Awards—a program honoring facilities for outstanding safety performance.

“When the IDFA safety award program was created a dozen years ago, it captured only lagging indicators, meaning injury rates,” says David Crowley, senior environmental health and safety director for HP Hood LLC, whose facilities have earned a number of safety awards. “By including criteria for leading indicators in recent years, IDFA has helped to emphasize the importance of monitoring the proactive safety efforts in the dairy world and to promote positive things that help prevent injuries from occurring in the workplace.”

Examples of leading indicators include: number of inspections conducted; number of safety and health hazards identified; decreased time for hazard abatement; increased employing training; safety suggestions implemented; and job hazard analyses completed.

For 2016, applicants will be judged on specific data required by OSHA on the facility’s “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” report (OSHA Form 300A). Employers are required to post their OSHA 300A forms from February 1 through April 30 each year.

Processing facilities are judged in four product categories: natural and processed cheese; dry, condensed, and evaporated products; ice cream and frozen desserts; and fluid milk. Within each product category, there are awards for small, medium and large facilities that achieve the best overall safety performance rates based on the OSHA data.

The 2016 entry form is available at, and there is no fee to enter. All entries must be submitted to IDFA no later than March 31, 2016.