Because of its commitment to safety, the Monett plant for Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) has reached a milestone of two years with no lost-time accidents. More than 80 employees operate the plant, which manufactures cheddar cheese ingredients and whey products.
"DFA is committed to providing a safe working environment that protects employees, ensures a quality product and reduces costs," said Mickey Durbin, Monett's plant manager. "A two-year period with no lost time is an accomplishment that represents our employees' daily commitment to safe and efficient operations."
The Monett plant is one of 20 DFA dairy plants across the United States. All DFA plants participate in comprehensive safety programs that protect employees while producing high-quality dairy products and ingredients for consumers.
Under Durbin's leadership, 14 employees comprise the Monett plant's peer-elected safety and harmony committee. Members are Daryl Basye, Chad Calvin, Cody Dodson, Roger Henson, Jeremy Huse, Saad Ibrahim, Brandon Landry, Steve Maggio, Joe Mettlach, Raymond Schmidt, Darrell Stockton, Jim Thompson, Tracy Wimberley and Mike Zebert.
Committee members are responsible for keeping safety awareness high among fellow employees and participating in plant inspections. They also serve the critical role of bringing attention to any potential safety concerns so they can be addressed proactively, Durbin said.
Additional safety measures in place at DFA include a corporate risk management division, new employee education, annual training on a variety of topics, certification programs and instructional signage throughout the plants.
To celebrate the achievement, plant management treated the employees to a celebratory steak and shrimp cookout on Aug. 26.
Dairy Farmers of America is a dairy marketing cooperative that serves and is owned by nearly 17,000 members on more than 9,500 farms in 48 states. DFA is one of the country's most diversified manufacturers of dairy products, food components and ingredients, and is a leader in formulating and packaging shelf-stable dairy products.