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Workplace Safety Award Achieved through Familial Culture

December 12, 2019

When asked to describe the culture at OSI, the first word that comes to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Lavin’s mind is “family.” Fostering this culture means that both safety and development are critical components for the well-being of OSI’s workforce and the company’s success. It also means ensuring that the future environment continues to be a better one to work and live in than today. These main tenets of OSI’s culture have helped the company receive distinctive recognition by the British Safety Council for the thirteenth time.

This past November, OSI Food Solutions UK again won the prestigious Sword of Honour award from the British Safety Council for its excellence in the management of health and safety risks at work. The company, OSI Food Solutions UK, based in Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire, was one of only 84 organizations worldwide that achieved a Sword of Honour. The 2019 recognition marks the fifth year OSI Food Solutions UK has achieved a Sword of Honour award.

In order to compete for the Sword of Honour, OSI first had to achieve the maximum five stars in the British Safety Council’s health and safety management audit scheme in the period August 2018 – July 2019. It also demonstrated to an independent panel of experts that it has achieved excellence in health and safety management throughout the business, from the shop floor to the boardroom.

The 2019 awards mark the 40th consecutive year in which the British Safety Council has awarded the Sword of Honour for health and safety management excellence.


OSI is committed to operating all of its facilities at the highest levels of safety, meeting applicable laws and government standards as well as OSI’s own high expectations. Dedicated safety programs at each location maintain these standards and help to ensure that all rules, procedures and practices are routinely carried out.

As a best practice, OSI encourages all employees to participate in reporting any potentially unsafe behaviors as part of the company’s “Near Miss” program. The company dedicates internal teams to perform regular checks on safety conditions and carries out internal audits to ensure the safety programs are being maintained.

Beginning in 2018, OSI has prioritized a standard global implementation of occupational health and safety programs and uses a formula to calculate its Incident Rate: (incidents x 200,000) / total hours worked. The resulting figures are in line with the average 4.5 incident rate recorded for food processing facilities in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


OSI knows the value of monitoring and analyzing operations at all of its facilities and corporate offices. They believe this is the only true way to know where the company is excelling and where the company can improve within any part of the business. By using a formula to track incident rates and being an active member in a range of industry organizations, including those focusing on beef, poultry, multi-species and food production, OSI is able to benchmark its workplace safety performance compared to the rest of the industry. This also helps OSI focus on areas in the industry where the company can lead the way, so others can improve their own practices.

While OSI is a believer in uniformity and global standards when it comes to measurement and analysis, the company also has a history of merging its own, sometimes higher, standards with those of the wider industry to ensure the company does not get complacent and to also leverage opportunities to lead and effect change. Awards like the Sword of Honour add another level of credibility for others to learn from OSI and improve their own operations and the industry as a whole.

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