Whether it’s a big holiday gathering or a small weeknight meal, meat often plays a leading role on our dinner tables. Many steps go into producing top-quality meat – but accidents happen in manufacturing plants, and mistakes are made. The product could get contaminated, machines could malfunction, and workplace injuries could occur.

The right insurance coverage will help keep your company safe when the worst scenarios occur. Horton’s consultants will keep you updated on the latest regulations, assess your biggest levels of risk and will help you choose a plan that fits your needs the most.

Need Assistance? Ask Our Expert Jonathan Reinecke!


We make sure you are covered and prepared.

Our capabilities range from securing basic insurance coverage to implementing workplace safety plans. Your Horton team will serve as your “part-time safety director,” and provide all the services your business needs to manage its risks while building a stronger culture of safety. This includes, but is not limited to, the following services:

  • Build health and safety programs that address:
    • Equipment/machine operations and guarding
    • Electrical safety and lockout tagout
    • Hazard communication
    • Globally harmonized systems
    • Housekeeping and combustible dust
    • Ergonomics
    • Soft tissue injury prevention 

  • Provide crucial mandatory training for employees, which includes but is not limited to:
    • Powered industrial truck, scissor and aerial lift training and certification
    • Authorized, affected and other lockout/tagout application training
    • First-aid, CPR & AED training and certification for key company personnel
    • Routine training sessions for managers, supervisors and leads to ensure facility safety and employee work practices are compliant with applicable OSHA standards and company directions

  • Develop plans to address the different forms of liability exposure dealing with your premises and your products

  • Create safety observations and audits, using a software that provides statistical probability of accidents and injuries

  • Conduct documented accident and injury investigations and offer recommendations for preventing similar cases in the future

  • Develop and execute an Accident Review Board • Evaluate industrial hygiene activities to ensure compliance with OSHA standards, specifically reviewing:
    • Hazardous and toxic substances
    • Respiratory protection regulations
    • Hearing conservation standards
    • General personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements



Based on our experience on the field and the most common OSHA citations, food and beverage manufacturers are at risk for the following situations:

  • Product spoilage, contamination or tampering
  • Falling object hazards
  • Injuries from working on dangerous equipment
  • Lack of quality assurance/quality control
  • Machine malfunctions
  • Factory fires
  • Providing a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Poor management of highly hazardous chemicals
  • Poor hazard communication


There are specific risks that meat manufacturers face on a daily basis, including:

  • Property Exposure – Property exposure is high due to multiple sources of ignition, open construction, and the combustibility and damageability of meat products and packaging materials. Ignition sources are from electrical wiring, equipment, and refrigeration units. All wiring must be well maintained and up to code for the occupancy. The age, condition and maintenance of coolers and refrigeration equipment are important to review. Ammonia leaks could cause an explosion. There should be detection systems, emergency shut-off valves, and exhaust systems to allow venting in the case of a leak. Alarms should be in place to warn of power outage or shutdown.

  • Fires – Good housekeeping and fire controls are critical. Smoking should be prohibited. Even a small loss can cause all stock to be condemned by the FDA due to possible heat, smoke or water contamination. If there is a sprinkler system, heads must be located high enough to avoid accidental contact with forklifts. Recharging of forklifts and maintenance of vehicles should be done in a separate, ventilated area away from combustibles.

  • Equipment Breakdown –Temperatures must remain constant for refrigeration equipment, which is why it’s crucial for equipment to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Back-up generators should be available in case of equipment failure. Additional coverage for spoilage and ammonia contamination should be considered as even a small power interruption could result in a large loss.
  • Business Interruption – Additional common interruptions for meat manufacturers can include equipment failure, relocation, fires and natural disasters. Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow – particularly for small to midsized organizations. Just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly for an organization, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures. Recovering from a loss could require a lengthy time to rebuild the facility and purchase replacement refrigeration equipment.

  • Crime Exposure from Employee Dishonesty – Meat and seafood are very attractive commodities with high street value. This operation involves several transactions and accounts that can be manipulated if duties are not separated. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Regular audits, both internal and external, are important to prevent employee theft of accounts. Physical inventories should be conducted at least annually. Appropriate security controls must be taken, including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department.

  • Product Liability and Spoilage – Despite the best efforts to keep food safe, this is a major concern for meat manufacturers. In the event of equipment malfunction, food and ingredients may spoil, potentially costing thousands of dollars in lost supplies and revenue. Food poisoning, the presence of foreign objects and other factors can potentially harm a customer, resulting in a lawsuit and costly settlement. Even a frivolous lawsuit can cost a significant amount of time, money and resources. Spoilage insurance can help cover the cost of any food lost as a result of spoilage, and product liability coverage can help cover these costs in the event of a lawsuit. But to reduce your chances of contamination, you should monitor the quality of food received, post lists of ingredients and maintain proper storage temperature. Keep accurate records of products and batches to monitor for recalls. There should be controls in place to prevent all types of contamination from chemicals used inside the facility, such as insecticides and pesticides.

  • Workers’ Compensation Claims The meat manufacturing industry is prone to many workplace accidents. Lifting heavy boxes/machinery can cause back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains. Leaking ammonia can lead to lung damage or even death. Floor coverings or coatings may be slick and accumulate condensation, posing slip and fall hazards. Employees can pick up diseases from handling raw meat and seafood and could even get frostbite or hypothermia from spending too much time in refrigerated areas. Accidents ultimately happen in every workplace, but Horton can work with you to develop an effective safety plan and Accident Review Board to help you prepare for when the worst occurs. In the meantime, it is crucial to hold mandatory safety training for workers (including how to properly lift objects and correctly operate dangerous machinery) and provide proper PPE.


An Accident Review Board is comprised of key company personnel who review accidents and injuries in the workplace. Horton will help you determine the best members for your board – usually, it consists of your CFO, head of facilities, risk manager, head of human resources and a Horton safety consultant.

After an incident occurs, the board meets with the injured employee and their immediate supervisor to identify the cause of the incident and develop corrective actions necessary to provide similar situations in the future. If implemented correctly, this could drastically reduce the number and severity of work-related injuries in the future.


Workplace accidents/injuries always happen suddenly and unexpectedly. And OSHA requires you to report these incidents quickly, which requires you to put your other job duties on hold. However, your part-time safety director can easily jump in and assist after an incident occurs and will handle all of the logistics to make this process easier for you. Our Horton safety consultants are well-versed in the latest OSHA regulations/updates and will ensure that you are properly prepared for all on-site inspections. Depending on the circumstances, they might be able to negotiate with OSHA, which could result in a reduction of penalties and/or citations.


There are several factors that will impact the cost of meat manufacturing insurance, including the size of your company, the amount of services you are requesting and your overall level of risk. For additional information, call Horton at (800) 383-8283.


Jonathan Reinecke

Jonathan Reinecke is a Shareholder and serves as a Senior Vice President in Horton's Employee Benefit Solutions Division. Jonathan tried to make a career out of fighting food insecurity after his first, life-changing trip to India. After he transitioned to Insurance, Jon has continued his pursuit of eradicating hunger in his local communities and has found a natural overlap in his professional and philanthropic efforts. He brings several years of healthcare insurance experience to Horton's team of risk advisors, employee benefits and insurance specialists. In his role at Horton, Jonathan is responsible for providing strategic, cost-effective and innovative solutions to meet his clients' most complex, employee benefits and healthcare challenges.

TJ Connors

TJ Connors is a Sales Executive for Horton’s Benefit Solutions. In this role, TJ is responsible for providing industry expertise and consultative guidance to aid clients in navigating the ever-changing marketplace. He is part of a team of employee-benefits focused specialists dedicated to delivering innovative healthcare solutions to employers.

Jennifer Tverdek

Jennifer Tverdek is a Senior Vice President for Horton’s Benefits Solution Practice. Jennifer is responsible for providing expert employee benefits consulting, bringing new clients on board, and servicing and retaining existing clients. She is part of a team of employee benefits focused specialists dedicated to delivering innovative healthcare solutions to employers.



Horton Safety Consultants can:

  • Develop organizational specific safety and health programs and procedures with special emphasis on manufacturing environment work activities and exposures. Special emphasis safety programs and procedures could include equipment and machine operations and guarding, electrical safety and lockout tagout, hazard communication; globally harmonized systems, housekeeping and combustible dust, ergonomics and soft tissue injury prevention.  

  • Provide authorized, affected and other lockout/tagout application training. 

  • Provide powered industrial truck, scissor and aerial lift training and certification.

  • Provide first-aid, CPR & AED training and certification for key company personnel. 

  • Provide routine training sessions for managers, supervisors and leads to ensure that facility safety and employee work practices are compliant with applicable OSHA standards and company directions.

  • Conduct safety observations and audits using the Predictive Solutions software platform. Predictive Solutions provides statistical probabilities regarding the occurrence of accidents and injuries. Formal reports with photographs depicting both safe and at-risk practices and conditions will be distributed to key company personnel.

  • Conduct documented accident and injury investigations. The investigation report will include descriptions and a summary of events, root causes and recommended actions; photographs will be taken. Horton Safety Consultants will use these investigations to solicit ideas and suggestions from all employees on how to prevent similar injuries or accidents from occurring in the future.

  • Develop and implement an Accident Review Board (ARB). The Accident Review Board is made up of key company personnel who review and hold meetings to discuss significant accidents or near misses. At regular intervals, the injured or involved employee and their supervisor report to the ARB meetings to discuss what events transpired and what must be addressed to prevent future events.

  • Capabilities to perform Industrial Hygiene activities necessary to ensure compliance with applicable OSHA hazardous and toxic substances requirements, OSHA’s respiratory protection regulations and OSHA’s hearing conservation standard.

  • “Part-Time Safety Director” Services