Workplace safety

RSC Cargill Workplace Safety Mosaic

A key measure of our success is sending every employee and contractor home safe every day.

This requires an unyielding commitment to safety and each other, from all 150,000 people at Cargill. To ensure a safe and healthy workplace, we start with a foundation of proven programs that are consistent around the world, along with a set of five-year goals that are focused on continuous improvement in our safety performance.

A Focus on LIFE

(Life-altering Injury and Fatality Elimination)
Cargill continues to enhance that foundational safety programming through Focus on LIFE (Life-altering Injury and Fatality Elimination). The program, which was introduced in 2013, is aimed at identifying and addressing life-threatening dangers hidden in our tasks and workplace.

Today, Focus on LIFE is integrated into our businesses and its programs are improving our safety performance.

Why it’s important to keep improving

While we’re seeing continuous improvements, including significant reductions in injuries overall, during our fiscal year 2014, four Cargill employees and two contractors lost their lives in work-related incidents. This is unacceptable. Our work and partnerships with other leading safety companies has helped us recognize the need to further enhance our safety culture so that we can achieve our goal of zero fatalities. As a result, we are introducing a concept known as “human and organizational performance,” which helps companies better understand why injuries happen and how “systems thinking” helps build a strong and effective safety culture. Training on this concept is underway across the company.

Making progress toward our goals

For the past several decades, we have set a series of five-year goals for safety, and we are nearing the end of our 2015 cycle.
Progress toward these goals looks like this for fiscal year 2014 (ending May 31, 2014):

  • With six fatalities (four employees, two contractors), we did not achieve our goal of zero;
  • More than 70 percent of our locations worked without injury (more than 1,000 locations) compared to our goal of 75 percent by 2015; and
  • Our Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (RIFR) dropped to 1.8, a company best and ahead of our 2015 goal of 2.0.

RSC Cargill Workplace Safety Charts

Injury-free facilities: This is a unique metric within Cargill. Most organizations measure facilities without lost work days; at Cargill, our metric is based on no injuries, period.

RIFR: As defined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Recordable Injury Frequency Rate measures total recordable injuries per 200,000 hours worked. As Cargill works to eliminate all occupational injuries and illnesses from our operations, our 2015 workplace safety goals are zero fatalities and a RIFR of 2.0.

RSC Cargill Workplace Safety Charts 2



DFR: OSHA’s Disabling Frequency Rate measures lost time injuries per 200,000 hours worked. While a positive trend since 2005, our DFR remained flat during fiscal year 2014 (ended May 3, 2014); however, results have improved in our current fiscal year. As of February 2015, our DFR .13, the company's best ever.




Why ergonomics matter

Sound principles and ergonomically-friendly work processes and workstation designs in our meat businesses are creating safer environments for our people. In fact, our Beef and Pork businesses have reduced overall injuries by 41 and 46 percent, respectively. These improved ergonomic practices and programs are being exported to other businesses with similar safety risks.

Truck driver safety spreads across Europe

What started as a one-week campaign to improve truck driver safety at a handful of Cargill facilities in the United Kingdom has turned into an annual program that is spreading across borders and Cargill’s European businesses. To get to the company’s goal of zero incidents, experts from Cargill’s transportation and health and safety teams, along with the truck drivers themselves, continue to grow and improve the program.

Industry standards and workplace safety

Strict industry standards also play a critical role in our foundational safety programs and practices. Here are some highlights:

OHSAS 18001 compliant

Nearly 100 Cargill’s facilities have been certified as OHSAS 18001:2007 compliant. The OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) standards grew out of the global success of the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 series of standards and the increasing demand by companies for a standard that addressed the management of safety in the workplace.

RSC Cargill Workplace Safety Photo

OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) within the United States sponsors what it calls Voluntary Protection Programs (VPPs). VPPs promote worksite-based safety and health. VPP participants are a select group of facilities that have designed and implemented outstanding health and safety programs. Within the program there are differing levels of recognition: Star participants meet all VPP requirements; Merit participants demonstrate the potential and willingness to achieve Star program status, and are implementing planned steps to fully meet all Star requirements.

Cargill VPP locations

  • Corn Milling NA, Blair, NE
  • Corn Milling NA, Eddyville, IA
  • Corn Milling NA, Houston, TX
  • Corn Milling NA, Wahpeton, ND
  • CVAM, California (Feed Mill), MO
  • CVAM, Gentry (Hatchery), AR
  • CVAM, Harrisonburg (Feed Mill), VA
  • CVAM, Harrisonburg (Hatchery), VA
  • CVAM, Springdale (Processing), AR
  • CVAM, Springdale (Feed Mill), AR
  • CVAM, Temple, TX
  • CVAM, Waco, TX
  • Regional Beef, Wyalusing