Putting people first means making safety and well-being a priority.
We work in a fast-paced environment, with our production lines sometimes producing up to 130 sandwiches a minute. Excellent communication and dealing with risks quickly are key to a safe and smooth day on the job, and our safety record shows we are pretty good at it.
SK Food Group’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 4.0 is lower than the industry average of 7.2. But we want to do even better. Our goal is to reduce our previous year’s TRIR by 10% year over year until 2030.
How did we get here? By building a culture in which safety is everyone’s job.
It starts with education. All our Associates attend safety training, and logged 154,000 training hours in 2021 alone. Because so many languages are spoken at our facilities, we make safety visual. A Safety Cross Score Card is displayed in common areas at each location so that Associates can see the facility’s daily safety record, no matter what language they speak.
We also make safety hands on. While we have translators, we have found it is more effective to physically demonstrate health and safety practices. In 2021, we began an innovative approach to health and safety incident management, inviting local medical professionals to our production facilities to show them how a potential injury could occur, and reduce communication-related stressors that could arise in an emergency.
“Proactive training, increasing awareness, communicating with the departments and engaging everyone builds a safety culture from entry level to leadership. It’s one of the biggest successes that led to our incident rate decreasing over the past few years.”
— Padma, Safety Compliance Specialist
The “Why I Safely” wall engages employees to pause and think about why they work safely. It allows employees to post comments and pictures of loved ones, freiends and fellow associates.
Health and safety is not just about low incident rates though. It is also about creating a foundation for our Associates to thrive – physically, mentally and financially. As a company we are making investments to help Associates and their families live up to their full potential.
For example, SK Food Group pays 100% of each of our Associates’ monthly medical insurance, while offering additional plans like dental insurance. Repetitive motion risks are reduced as the result of wellness activities, such as three-times-per-shift stretching programs and rotating production activity every two hours.
Our Employee Assistance Program provides our Associates and their families 24/7 support for childcare, parenting, teen and adolescent issues, stress and anxiety, grief and loss, crisis and trauma, coaching, work life balance, vaccines, legal issues, and more.
We also support our Associates’ financial health by offering employer-matched benefits for a 401K retirement plan, employee stock ownership plan, an Associate Bonus Program and tuition reimbursement.
By making safety part of our daily rhythm and investing in our Associates’ physical and mental well-being, we are seeing the ripple effects across our facilities: better risk detection and prevention, higher morale and empowered Associates who see themselves as part of a safety-first culture.
Our goal to promote a safety-first culture that provides all Associates with a safe and healthy work environment aligns with SDG 8: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”