IDFA - Alliance Agreement - August 9, 2021


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safety and health practices and programs to improve workers at American dairy processing facilities. To that end, OSHA and IDFA hereby form an Alliance to provide IDFA members and the public with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help protect the health and safety of the workers in the dairy processing industry, and increase understanding of the rights of workers and responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Alliance will address the control of hazardous energy, permit required confined spaces, heat stress, transportation hazards such as vehicle back-overs, and other hazards as appropriate.

This agreement provides a framework and objectives for the Alliance’s activities. Alliance participants also agree to meet the requirements for program participation laid out in the “Fundamental Requirements for OSHA Alliance Program Participants” and the “Guidelines for OSHA’s Alliance Program Participants: Alliance Products and Other Alliance Projects.”

Through the Alliance, the organizations will use available injury, illness, and hazard exposure data, when appropriate, to help identify areas of emphasis for Alliance awareness, outreach, and communication activities. The Alliance will also explore and implement selected options, including but not limited to member surveys, to evaluate the Alliance and measure the impact on improving workplace safety and health. In developing this Alliance, OSHA and IDFA recognize that OSHA’s State Plan and On-Site Consultation Program partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort, and that information about the products and activities of the Alliance may be shared with these partners for the advancement of common goals.

Raising Awareness: Outreach and Communication

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives:

  • Share information on OSHA’s national initiatives (Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, Outreach), and opportunities to participate in initiatives and the rulemaking process.
  • Share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights of workers and responsibilities of employers.
  • Develop and disseminate information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, such as but not limited to, vehicle back-overs and gaining safe access for personnel to the top of tank trucks.
  • Speak, exhibit, participate, or appear at OSHA and IDFA conferences, local meetings, roundtable discussions, or other industry-sponsored events and meetings to share information among OSHA personnel, IDFA, and industry safety and health professionals.
  • Encourage worker participation in workplace safety and health by seeking front-line workers’ input and feedback on Alliance activities through IDFA regulatory committees (through member companies’ EHS professionals) and dedicated Alliance page on IDFA website.
  • Collaborate with other Alliance participants to gather best practices on common issues and emphasis areas that impact food manufacturers.
  • Encourage IDFA members and other industry stakeholders to build relationships with OSHA’s Regional and Area Offices and State Plans, and to utilize OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program to promote health and safety in the dairy processing industry.

Training and Education

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objective:

  • Contribute knowledge and information to OSHA Compliance Officers on hazards and operations unique to the dairy processing industry through collaborative training opportunities.

OSHA’s Alliances provide organizations an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA for purposes such as raising awareness of OSHA’s initiatives, outreach, communication, training, and education. These Alliances have proven to be valuable tools for both OSHA and Alliance participants. By entering into an Alliance with an organization, OSHA is not endorsing or promoting, nor does it intend to endorse or promote, any of that organization’s products or services.

An implementation team made up of representatives of each organization will meet one to two times per year to discuss the responsibilities of the participants, to share information on activities, and to track results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. IDFA representatives will include IDFA staff, members of IDFA’s Environment, Sustainability, and Safety (ESS) Committee, and members of other committees, as appropriate. OSHA team members will include representatives of the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, and the Directorate of Enforcement Programs. OSHA will encourage State Plan and OSHA On-Site Consultation programs’ participation on the team.

This agreement will remain in effect for two years. Either signatory may terminate it for any reason at any time, provided they give 30 days’ written notice. This agreement may be modified at any time with the written concurrence of both signatories.

Signed this 9th day of August, 2021.

James S. Frederick
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for
Occupational Safety and Health

Michael Dykes, D.V.M.
President and CEO
International Dairy Foods Association