Our Commitment

At JBS USA, we believe that safety is a mandatory prerequisite for being the best in all that we do. We know that we should not and cannot operate our facilities unless a safe working environment is firmly established. We do not tolerate unsafe working conditions, and we are committed to providing a safe work environment for our team members and implementing company policies and procedures to ensure best practices for safety across all JBS USA facilities.

Our Approach

Our safety policies, governance structure and management are designed to promote a safe work culture. The JBS USA General Safety and Health Policy focuses on training and educating our team members and eliminating work hazards. Our safety management programs meet the government requirements in each country. Our U.S. and Puerto Rican facilities are in alignment with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. In Europe, our programs meet the Health Safety Executive RIDDOR (Reporting of Incidents Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations. In Australia, each Australian jurisdiction enacts its own Work Health and Safety Act and Work Health and Safety regulations. Our facilities comply with these in each region.

Our overarching safety management system framework in Australia is aligned with the National Audit Tool (NAT) for self-insurers, which is based on the Australian Standard 4804 Occupational Health and Safety Management and Australian Standard 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. In Mexico, our team tracks data according to the government Secretaria del Trabajo and the Safety and Health regulations, which comply with OSHA standards. In Canada, our Health and Safety Management System is aligned with the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) law. In addition, our facility is a holder of a Certificate of Recognition (COR) through our certifying party—Alberta Food Processing Association (AFPA)—which means that the JBS Canada Health and Safety Management System has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards established by Alberta OH&S . Maintaining the COR helps us create a proactive workplace health and safety culture, reduce the risks and costs associated with workplace incidents and improve the overall efficiency at the work site.

Each JBS USA business unit has a Head of Safety who reports to the Head of Human Resources or Head of Operations, who report to the Head of Operations or the President of that business unit. There is also a corporate safety and human resources team that supports all JBS USA business units by further analyzing data and tracking programs across the company. The Heads of Safety at JBS USA sit on a corporate Safety Leadership Committee. This committee meets regularly to discuss safety standards and best practices. Every Head of Safety also participates in the Executive Safety Council. This Council consists of executives from across the company, inclusive of business unit Presidents, Vice Presidents, Heads of Operations, Heads of Engineering, Heads of Human Resources and the Heads of Safety. The council meets periodically to discuss outcomes and progress and review recommended changes from the Safety Leadership Committee. Finally, safety-related remuneration is included in business unit bonus plans and is based on business unit performance in various leading indicator improvements and associated reductions in Severe Incidents (defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, greater than five days lost time [including fractures and second- and third-degree burns] or fatality).

“Workplace safety is paramount in our business. Success takes everyone working together to create and maintain a robust safety culture—it requires support, hard work and dedication from all team members, departments and leaders in the business. Providing a safe working environment is not just something we have to do, it is something that we want to do because it is the right thing to do. JBS USA Greeley Beef is in the people business.”

Fred Hein
Safety Manager, Greeley, CO, beef production facility

Each JBS USA facility has a Safety Manager who reports to the General Manager. Every facility also has a safety committee, which is chaired by the Facility Safety Manager and consists of hourly team members and union representatives (where applicable). Approximately 3 percent to 15 percent of all team members are engaged in these committees, providing representation for 100 percent of the workforce. Our Facility Safety Manager and a Facility Safety Team analyze work environment hazards and propose innovative strategies to keep our workplace safe.

To ensure successful implementation of our health and safety policies, safety data is integrated across a shared digital platform, allowing us to better share best practices and identify enterprise wide trends. This paperless system allows us to track team member first aid information and report trends related to injuries, off-work and restricted status and treatment protocols according to first aid medical treatment guides. This enables us to develop data-driven corrective actions to our processes, including team member observations, safety inspections and audits. We also update our safety programs regularly by detailing new challenges, auditing techniques and providing straightforward solutions. Our safety teams focus on safety training, performance, measurement and the sharing of best practices across all of the JBS USA business units.

To continuously improve, we set companywide and facility-specific safety goals each year and track leading safety indicators. Performance is reported daily, weekly and monthly to management teams so that decisions that impact health and safety can be made swiftly and have the utmost priority. All of our operations supervisors are required to conduct multiple safety observations each week. The intent of these safety observations is to identify unsafe behaviors and intervene with helpful coaching prior to the occurrence of an unsafe act, condition or injury.

We also track traditional lagging indicators, such as Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR), Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers (DART) rate, Lost Time rate and Severe Incidents. We consistently outperform industry averages in TRIR and DART rate and continue to work to improve the performance of our health and safety programs.

Promoting Team Member Health

We recognize and respond to the occupational health concerns and needs of all team members, and we are in compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations governing occupational healthcare delivery. In 2018, JBS USA hired a Director of Occupational Health, who provides continual improvements to our health protocols and ongoing training to our Occupational Health Staff to further share and implement best practices across all of our facilities.

JBS USA’s Ergonomic Improvement Program is designed to reduce the effects of repetition, contact stress and static postures. The program is tailored for each facility to control or eliminate potential conditions or work activities that pose ergonomic risks at each particular site. Our managers take ergonomic improvements seriously and conduct annual training and assessments to continually improve the program.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) for team members is standard across JBS USA, as outlined in our PPE Program. Our Facility Safety Managers conduct workplace hazard assessments regularly to assess PPE needs and provide training and technical assistance to team members to ensure effective PPE usage.


Each year, every location undergoes a comprehensive safety management system audit, a fleet safety audit and an occupational health audit. In addition, since 2015, JBS USA has conducted comprehensive safety analysis audits to identify and reduce potential hazards.

Health and Safety Training and Education Program

We center our Health and Safety Policies on training and education, as well as controlling or eliminating all job-related hazards, to reduce the number of work-related injuries and illnesses throughout our facilities. Our in-depth safety training consists of new team member orientation, job- and task-specific training, departmental safety meetings and refresher training for team members every month. All newly hired team members must complete both classroom and department-specific training. We use the Alchemy Training system, which makes safety training available in multiple languages. JBS USA has written job-safety analyses for all of our positions.

Corrective Actions

While we focus on education, training, process improvements and cultural accountability, accidents do occur, and we must acknowledge, report and learn from safety-related incidents. We have a formal Incident Investigation Procedure to investigate and reduce, mitigate or eliminate injuries, illnesses and fatalities. The incident investigation process assists operations in preventing the recurrence of similar incidents and in identifying injury and illness trends, potential weaknesses or failures in our safety management and proximate and root causes of incidents . This process allows JBS USA to develop effective corrective action plans. In addition, within each business unit, locations regularly share incident investigation information to facilitate learning and prevention.

Independent Contractors

Although our contracted workforce is small, we take our responsibility for their health and safety seriously. Through our contracting process, we partner with a third party to ensure that our JBS USA contractors meet our health and safety standards. In the U.S., contractors are required to have an “A” or “B” grade to work at our facilities. Those contractors with “C” and “F” grades must have a variance form on file granted by the site Safety and Health Manager and the General Manager. Contractor grades are derived from Contract Safety Information, which includes safety, injury and illness statistics; aggregate insurance requirements, OSHA inspection history, workers’ compensation experience modifier (EMR), OSHA forms 300 and 300A, written health, safety and environmental programs, safety-training documentation; and JBS USA’s safety briefing online training. In Australia, all independent contractors are required to meet the Australian Standard 4804 Occupational Health and Safety Management and the Australian Standard 4801 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. In Mexico and Europe, all independent contractors are required to meet our health and safety standards.

Increasing Our Focus On Prevention

In the U.S., we have prioritized a comprehensive safety audit project to identify and reduce potential hazards. We have shifted our enterprise wide focus to early detection, including an in-depth review of all policies and programs related to walking surfaces, protection from and prevention of falls or slips, electrical safety, machine guarding and ergonomics.

Based on the results of these audits, each year, we identify three high-priority initiatives—one that is companywide and two that are prioritized by each facility. In 2019, our companywide initiative is walking and working surfaces with a specific focus on uneven surfaces, designated walking paths and three points of contact. Programs to address these areas are expected to be implemented at every facility. Following implementation of the companywide initiative, the facility implements two additional priority programs. For example, one JBS USA facility has elected to focus on emergency response procedures and ammonia awareness.

We continue to increase our focus on prevention by improving our observation process to enhance our measurement and ultimately our performance of leading safety indicators. As such, we have implemented a new Safety Observation Process to make sure that our supervisors are observing and accurately identifying all unsafe acts and workplace conditions, as well as coaching team members to proactively change and challenge any unsafe behaviors. This allows us to use data collection, analysis and coaching to prevent potential injuries from occurring. We have also expanded reporting to include a leading indicator dashboard that is tracked weekly according to targets and includes monitoring observations for unsafe behaviors, working surfaces, machine guarding, safety gaps, electrical safety, drive cam coaching effectiveness, preventable vehicle accident rates and corrective actions. In addition, we have incorporated more team members, including hourly, salaried and management, into our Safety Observation Process to create a culture of ownership with regard to team member health and safety. We track our performance and improvements through safety-gap scorecards and corrective action logs.

Innovation to Improve Safety

In 2016, JBS USA acquired a controlling interest in Scott Technology, a leading global developer of automation and robotic solutions that improve safety, productivity, reliability and yield in the workplace. In parallel with our increased focus on preventing injuries, our partnership with Scott Technology has allowed us to decrease the potential for injuries and identify solutions to safety and automation challenges in some of our facilities. We have established cross-functional teams to identify ways to best leverage our partnership with Scott and utilize their technology to reduce costs, improve safety and yields and provide consistent, quality products to our customers.

As a company, we have a goal to transition to BladeStop Bandsaws, which are designed to reduce serious injuries by mechanically stopping the blade when the unit senses the operator has come in contact with the blade. In addition to BladeStop technology, Pilgrim’s has partnered with Scott to develop an automated whole bird trussing machine, and in Australia, two of our lamb production facilities have implemented automated lamb deboning technology from Scott. As a result of this innovative technology, the number of injuries has been further reduced.

2018 Progress

United States

In the U.S., we have a history of outperforming the industry in safety for TRIR and DART rate. In 2018, we reduced our Severe Incidents, DART rate and TRIR. In comparison to 2017, the most recent year of published industry safety data, our 2018 JBS USA DART rate and TRIR were 16.6 percent and 6.3 percent below the industry average, respectively. We have an uncompromising focus to reduce the rate of Severe Incidents year over year, and in 2018, we reduced our combined Severe Incidents by 16 percent compared to 2017.

Pilgrim’s continues to make significant progress in reducing injuries. In 2018, we reduced Severe Incidents compared to 2017. We also achieved all of our reduction targets. While we are proud of the progress we’ve made in team member health and safety performance, we are not satisfied with our results, and we will continue to strive for improved safety performance.

JBS USA and Pilgrim's* DART Rate and TRIR Compared to Industry Averages and Severe Incidents

  • JBS USA and Pilgrim's DART Rate
  • Industry Average DART Rate***
  • JBS USA and Pilgrim's TRIR
  • Industry Average TRIR***

* Includes all facilities in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada

** Industry averages not yet available

*** U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Animal Slaughtering and Processing

**** Defined as an amputation, hospitalization, vision loss, greater than five days lost time (including fractures and second- and third-degree burns) or fatality


Our Pilgrim’s Moy Park team tracks data according to the Health Safety Executive RIDDOR (Reporting of Incidents Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulations, and for purposes of this report, in accordance with OSHA standards. Our team has consistently reduced DART rate, TRIR, Lost Time rate and Severe Incidents year over year. In addition, Pilgrim’s Moy Park operates a Safety Index (SI), which is driven by key performance indicators and communicated weekly across all facilities. Each facility’s SI figure is tailored to its specific operational safety performance and calculated using injury frequency rate, lost days and total hours worked. Pilgrim’s Moy Park’s year-over-year progress is reflected in an impressive track record of continuous improvement as indicated in their SI scores. Our overall SI score has improved from 11.5 in 2012 to 0.70 in 2018.

Pilgrim's Moy Park DART Rate, TRIR, Lost Time Rate and Severe Incidents

  • DART Rate
  • TRIR
  • Lost Time Rate

*Defined in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as a fracture, second- or third-degree burns, amputation, vision loss, hospitalization or loss of time of five days or more


In Mexico, our team tracks data according to the government Secretaria del Trabajo and the Safety and Health regulations, which comply with OSHA standards. Our team has continued to reduce DART rate and Severe Incidents year over year, and we are proud of our performance. In 2018, we developed and implemented a National Safety plan to better ensure the safety and wellbeing of our team members. As a result, we decreased our DART rate by 76 percent and Severe Incidents by 65 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Pilgrim's Mexico DART Rate and Severe Incidents

*Defined in 2016, 2017 and 2018 as a fracture, second- or third-degree burns, amputation, vision loss, hospitalization or loss of time of five days or more


In Canada, we track according to the Worker Compensation Board (WCB-Alberta), which complies with OSHA standards. Year over year, our team has consistently reduced Lost Time rate and Modified/Restricted Duties rate, and in 2018, we reduced our Safety Rate Index by 45 percent. This was largely due to our implementation of a systematic safety action plan with consistent follow up to better ensure a safe workplace for our team members.

JBS Food Canada Lost Time Rate, Modified/Restricted Duties Rate and Safety Rate Index

  • Modified/Restricted Duties Rate
  • Lost Time Rate


In Australia, our teams track leading and lagging metrics and report regularly to senior management. Our teams continued to decrease TRIR (referred to as All Injury Frequency Rate in Australia) and Lost Time rate, which are defined according to the Australian Standard.

JBS Australia TRIR and Lost Time Rate*

  • TRIR
  • Lost Time Rate

*Calculated according to the Australian Standard