At Dean Foods our guiding principles, our operational imperatives, and our logistics maxims all start with People, Safety, Quality, and Customer Service.  We have a strong belief our employees have a safe and healthy place to work.  Over the last several years, we have continuously improved our safety performance and increased the accountability for a safe work environment among leadership and employees. Since 2007, we have created robust safety training programs, performed more than 150 corporate- and facility-led safety audits, and invested in safety expertise at our facilities to ensure employees have a safe work environment.  Starting 2011, we have had a formal safety management system.  Over the past few years we added additional resources and tools specifically to some of our highest risk activities including the safety of our drivers and our fleet, the safety of our refrigeration systems, and the safety and compliance of our contractors working on our facilities.

Our EHS Programs are focused on both compliance and culture.  In 2012 we adopted a behavior based safety program based on Observation & Coaching.  In 2015 we started deploying Lytx Drive Cam coaching and telematic event records to improve our coaching programs and provide more engagement with our nearly 5000 drivers.  In 2016 we have deployed nationwide Safety In Motion (SIM) a leading body mechanics and ergonomics program that positively touches the lives of every Dean Foods employee.  In 2015 and 2016 we have also deployed an EHS Culture and Engagement Assessment providing our manufacturing locations with additional best practices and tools to further improve our safety culture.

We monitor several safety performance metrics monthly, including the OSHA-based DART rate (days away, restricted and transferred) and TRIR (total recordable injury rate). These rates are computed using OSHA-based calculations and are used to monitor internal safety trends and determine where corrective action is needed.  We also measure the safety of our fleet utilizing DOT scoring tools.

Our increased focus on safety has only had positive impacts on our employees but has improved workers compensation costs by an average of over $10 million per year compared to 2010 performance and almost $20 million compared to 2005.



DART: 40% improvement since 2011  |  TRIR: 28.5% improvement since 2011

In 2015, we continued our efforts to significantly reduced the number and severity of accidents across Dean Foods.

  • We improved our company-wide DART rate by 15% (a standard measurement based on injuries and illnesses severe enough to warrant “Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers”).

  • Our company-wide total recordable injury rate (TRIR), which indicates the total number of injuries across our company, decreased by 14%

  • In the past 5 years we have seen a 28.5% improvement. in TRIR and a 40% improvement in DART.

Looking Ahead

As we move into 2016 we continue to build on the management systems and tools we have deployed in the past 5 years.  While we have made tremendous progress in improving our injury rates and our safety culture performance we will not be satisfied as a company until all of our employees go home each day with no injuries.