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    • Mascot created for safety training initiatives

      The Hormel Foods safety department recently introduced a new character to enhance the safety program at all of the company’s plants. SAM, an acronym for Safety Awareness Mascot, will be used to demonstrate safety principles in training sessions, on posters and in other safety communications.

      “We introduced SAM to brand our safety process, increase employee retention of safety principles and interject fun into the safety program,” said Tom Nuss, director of human resources, operations. “Through the efforts of our plants, we will use SAM creatively to increase employee awareness of safety practices and ultimately reduce employee injuries.”

      To name the character, the corporate safety team held a naming contest for all plant employees last winter. The safety council at each plant submitted their favorite names to be reviewed by the corporate safety steering committee. Shad Amos, warehouse control system dispatcher, Logistic Service, LLC. (Eldridge, Iowa), submitted the winning name and received a gift card to a local restaurant to treat his family to dinner.

      “We want to thank all the plant employees who participated in the naming contest. So many clever names were submitted that it was difficult for the corporate safety steering committee members to choose the winner,” said Bob Christiansen, corporate manager of safety and security. “The name SAM was chosen due to its gender neutrality and reference to the safety process.”

      Locations across the company are using SAM in unique and effective ways. R&D (Austin, Minn.) has a life-sized figure of SAM that can be posed with equipment in the facility to illustrate hazards.

      “We're just beginning to put together several different scenarios for SAM, but all of the employees that have seen SAM in action have responded with very positive feedback and new ideas to use the character throughout our facility,” said Jim Jacobsen, pilot plant coordinator, R&D. “SAM is definitely going to help us communicate safety messages uniquely tailored to the R&D workplace.”

      The Diamond Crystal Brands Savannah (Ga.) Plant has an ongoing “Where is SAM?” contest at the facility to expand exposure of the mascot to employees outside of training scenarios. Each week, employees who submit SAM’s location to human resources are entered into a drawing for a prize.

      “Employees love spotting SAM around the facility, and when we move SAM we usually come in to the office with a number of voicemail messages the next day from employees telling us that they saw SAM,” said Jessica Lyons, human resources manager, Diamond Crystal Brands Savannah Plant.

      Share your idea for utilizing SAM with your location’s safety or human resources manager.

      The Hormel Foods Corporation Charitable Trust Education Matching Gifts Program

      Download the new matching gifts form and conditions by clicking here. Read the back of the form carefully for the eligibility requirements for institutions and donations. Questions can be directed to Becci Smith in corporate communications at rjsmith@hormel.com or 507-437-5345.

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