Jimmy Lafrance
After suffering an on-site injury in 1984, longtime Cargill employee Jimmy Lafrance is an inspiring reminder of the importance of workplace safety.

Injury victim inspires workplace safety

Thirty years after his accident, employee Jimmy Lafrance helps Cargill’s feed mill in Arkansas achieve its goal of zero workplace injuries.

Jimmy Lafrance, a day shift receiver at Cargill’s turkey feed mill in Springdale, Arkansas, often cautions members of his team, “Don’t pull a ‘Jimmy.’” In 1984, he suffered a workplace injury that left him with a prosthetic hand. But there was a positive side to Jimmy’s misfortune: his accident inspired major changes at the facility, including updated safety protocols and new methods for preventing further accidents.

Thirty years later, it is clear that these efforts are working—Lafrance’s accident remains the last serious injury at the facility. What stands out today is the high level of employee engagement and leadership commitment, as well as a comprehensive safety program that includes high-quality worksite analyses, employee education programs, and a focus on hazard prevention and ongoing training.

“We work as a team for safety so that each one of us can go home to our families at the end of the day.”— Jimmy Lafrance, Receiver, Cargill Poultry Processing

The plant’s safety program has been so successful that it is now recognized as a Star Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), a prestigious ranking that acknowledges the facility’s commitment to workplace safety.

These safety results are no small feat considering the scale of operations of the plant, where the nearly 40 Cargill employees who work with Lafrance are dedicated to producing high-quality, nutritious feed for the tens of thousands of turkeys raised by Cargill throughout the southern United States.

The plant operates 100 hours per week, with two shifts working five 10-hour days to produce, load and ship 5.6 million pounds (2,800 tons) of feed for Cargill’s contract turkey farmers in the region.

But no matter the urgency or demand for production, all work is done safely. Top safety standards are upheld across all Cargill facilities, ensuring that accidents like Lafrance’s do not happen again.