January 11, 2023

Wyman’s recognized for workforce safety

Workers compensation insurance provider The MEMIC Group has named berry producer Wyman’s to its annual list of MEMIC Award winners in recognition of achievements in safety excellence.

The company was recognized with a 2022 MEMIC Award for Safety Excellence by making workforce safety part of its culture and demonstrating continuous education and employee involvement to prevent on-the-job injuries. Participation in safety workshops, on-site training, pre-project safety planning, and ergonomic assessments are part of the award criteria.

Workers compensation insurance provider The MEMIC Group has named berry producer Wyman’s to its annual list of award winners. Image: Provided

“Wyman’s has worked hard to build a culture of safety that is an example for all our policyholders, and for their industry,” Michael Bourque, MEMIC Group president and CEO, said in a news release. “We’re proud to partner with the people at Wyman’s to make it a consistently safer and more productive place to work.”

MEMIC safety management consultant Hartley Webb, who has advised Wyman’s for nearly two decades, said Wyman’s safety team has cut claims to achieve rates of total claims per $10 million payroll that are far below the industry average in both the medical-only and indemnity categories.

“It’s one of the best overall safety programs I’ve seen with regards to farming and food processing operations, especially for the blueberry harvesting and processing industry,” Webb said, citing a “strong management commitment to safety, strong employee involvement, good training programs, safety audit and performance evaluations, full-time safety personnel for farming and processing operations, and long-standing involvement with MEMIC Loss Control consultants and use of our online safety services.”

Webb said the Wyman’s safety program has grown from one managed by a small group of people to a sophisticated effort that uses less manual labor and more mechanization.

“Where thousands of seasonal employees’ hand-raking blueberries once created far too many opportunities for injuries, fields were improved over time so harvesting could be done mechanically,” Webb said. “As berry yield increased substantially, so did their safety results.”

Founded in 1874, Wyman’s — a fruit grower and processor based in Milbridge, Maine — has been a MEMIC policyholder for more than 18 years and is one of only four employers insured by The MEMIC Group to be recognized in 2022 for having consistently improved workforce safety practices.

“One of our most valuable resources are our human resources, and with safety as our number one priority, we are committed to leading the way across manufacturing and agriculture industries and will continue to launch new and innovative initiatives,” April Norton, Wyman’s vice president of human resources, said. “Through our nearly two decades of partnership with MEMIC, we’ve been able to create a culture of workplace safety that has led to a reduction of our total recordable injuries and lost time due to injury for our employees.”

MEMIC provides workers’ compensation insurance for more than 22,000 employers from Maine to Florida. The MEMIC Awards were established in 1994 as part of its annual review of policyholders’ work to instill a culture of workforce safety and to celebrate best practices in protecting workers from injury.

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