Jun 14, 2023EFI recognizes 2023 National Safety Month
Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is bringing attention to worker safety by recognizing June as National Safety Month.
EFI is encouraging fresh produce grower-shippers to prioritize worker engagement to drive workplace safety and improve the bottom line, according to a news release.
The National Safety Council first named June as National Safety Month in 1996. Its goal was to encourage workers and managers to look at how they can keep their workplace free from danger. The council reports the total cost of work injuries in 2021 was $167 billion with a cost per worker of $1,080. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 100 farm-related accidents result in injuries daily, costing the agricultural industry millions of dollars per year, according to the release.
“With the agricultural industry facing labor shortages, EFI is focusing on National Safety Month to underscore the opportunity to engage the 2.6 million U.S.-based farmworkers in strategies to increase safety, drive efficiencies and boost retention and recruitment,” EFI said in the release. “Studies have found that engaged workers deliver better customer service and quality, drive productivity and cost reductions, and reduce injuries.”
A Gallup study also found that employees who are less engaged are 64% more likely to have a safety incident.
“Workers are on the front lines, so they are the ones who know where policies might be getting overlooked or corners cut in ways that could lead to injury,” LeAnne Ruzzamenti, EFI’s director of marketing and communications, said in the release. “They are also best positioned to offer suggestions to make the workplace safer.”
“One of the easiest ways to begin engaging employees is to integrate worker voice into business improvements – whether regarding safety, productivity or quality,” Ruzzamenti said in the release. “The hard part follows, where management must build trust by responding to and acting on worker suggestions and maintaining open and collaborative communication across the operation.”
Founded in 1913 and granted a congressional charter in 1953, the Itasca, Illinois-based National Safety Council is a 501 nonprofit, public service organization promoting health and safety.
EFI is the capacity-building and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups.