- The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, a worker safety advocacy federation made up of 26 local groups, announced a list of “Dirty Dozen” employers April 26, naming and shaming those who allegedly “put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices.”
- The 2023 Dirty Dozen includes, in alphabetical order: Amazon; FedEx; Hanover Co., Lithko Contracting and Friends Masonry Construction; Norfolk Southern and Class One Freight Railroads; Occidental Chemical and Westlake Chemical; Packer Sanitation Service Inc., JBS Foods, Cargill and Tyson; Sonoma Wise; Swissport International AG Cos.; Tenet Healthcare Corp.; Tesla, Inc.; Trulieve Cannabis Corp.; and Twin Peaks Restaurant.
- National COSH took suggestions from its member groups, union members, safety activists and others to create its list. It considered factors like severity of safety risks to workers, repeat and serious violations, the position of a company within its industry and the presence of an on-site campaign to improve health and safety.
National COSH released its list in connection with Workers Memorial Week, which was held April 23-28, concluding with Workers Memorial Day on April 28. According to labor union federation AFL-CIO, the day is a commemoration of the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and stands as a day of remembrance for workers killed, injured or made ill on the job.
Amazon — the second-largest employer in the U.S., falling behind only Walmart — is a repeat offender on National COSH’s list, having appeared in 2022, 2019 and 2018. National COSH pointed to multiple deaths occurring at Amazon warehouses in 2022, noting the lack of air conditioning at facilities and multiple citations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“Amazon’s operating methods are creating hazardous work conditions and processes, leading to serious worker injuries,” Doug Parker, assistant secretary for OSHA, said in a February press release from the agency. “They need to take these injuries seriously and implement a companywide strategy to protect their employees from these well-known and preventable hazards.”
Other companies made the list due to equipment safety failures, improper exposure to chemicals, child labor and safety violations, outdoor exposure to extreme heat and wildfires, and more, according to National COSH’s report on the companies.
In its report, National COSH also praised the formation of unions at companies like Amazon, Trader Joe’s and Starbucks; applauded OSHA’s new protections for immigrant workers; and pointed to the dangers of climate change for workers at risk of extreme weather.
It also pointed to the higher death toll for Latino and Black workers when compared to their White counterparts, drawing a connection with diversity and inclusion. “Past and current discrimination, including a long history of assigning people of color to the dirtiest and most dangerous jobs, continues to impose a heavy cost on Black and Latino/a workers,” the report read.
National COSH has released a Dirty Dozen list annually since 2017, except for 2021, when the organization focused on the impact of COVID-19 on front-line workers, a spokesperson for the group told HR Dive.