The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) released its “dirty dozen” list of companies that have persistently raised major flags by exposing workers and communities to occupational hazards and risks.
Every year, companies are inducted into this hall of shame for repeat and serious safety violations, inconsistent and discriminatory reporting processes, and failure to adhere to repeat citation from regulatory authorities.
With the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s selection criterion includes a workplace’s inability to contain the spread of the virus.
Who’s made the “Dirty Dozen”
American Hospitals Association:
Gaping flaws exposed in protecting and managing healthcare workers during the pandemic.
Despite repeated violations and fines, the restaurant chain continues to take advantage of rigid sick leave policies.
Failure to implement control plans and provide adequate PPE for airport workers – compromising their safety against COVID exposure… despite fines.
This poultry producing firm continues to force higher line speeds, regardless of an abysmal safety record – forcing workers to walk out due to inadequate health protections during the pandemic.
Hard Rock Café International and subcontractors
Covering up their tracks by deporting a witness who had reported the death of 3 co-workers due to a construction collapse.
Lincoln Recycling Services:
Despite 3 worker deaths since 2016, the company is still unable to provide a safe working environment for all employees, as required by federal law.
National Restaurant Association
Despite the rampant spread of COVID-19, the National Restaurant Association continues to lobby against paid sick leave for millions of workers.
Sea Watch International
Despite the death of 3 workers under similar circumstances, the company continues to ignore maintenance standards like LOTO and declines safety training.
Highlights the risks posed in a public-private partnership where the risks of working at a faster pace at lower costs to complete this massive highway project led to the deaths of 5 workers.
Tennessee Valley Authority/Jacobs Engineering
A botched up job leads to the deaths of 41 workers, 400 sick and over 900 exposed to toxic ash, and sludge. The company is currently in a litigation suit for its failed attempt to conceal the crisis.
This grocery company’s policy of downplaying the pandemic in a highly dense workplace with no social distancing protocols or PPE has already claimed the lives of 1 worker.
Victoria’s Secret/L Brands/Voyant Beauty:
This fashion giant has failed to check its culture of misogyny, bullying, and harassment. At least 1 worker died due to the firm’s failure to contain COVID-19 amongst employees working in close quarters.
A usual suspect bagging the Dirty Dozen title for the year 2018-19, still keeps flouting safety norms to achieve its breakneck speed of delivery in a super-pressurized, chaotic atmosphere that has attributed to at least six fatalities.
What’s the impact?
The death toll of fatal accidents in the US rose from 2017 to 2018 to 5,250 fatalities, about 100 more than in 2017. OSHA is still colossally short of inspectors to evaluate about 9 million U.S. workplaces with 875 inspectors.
Implementing an EHS software can significantly reduce injuries and ill-health, mitigate regulatory fines, and inculcate a culture of shared values and transparency from the top to the bottom.