Every year the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) compiles a list—a blacklist, if you will—of the companies that are the most egregious at putting their employees in harm's way, due to unsafe practices. The list is more of an unpopularity contest than a detailed accounting, since National COSH is an advocacy group whose aims include establishing and strengthening unions. But taking that into consideration, the companies on the Dirty Dozen list have shown an astonishing inability to learn from their checkered pasts.
Obviously, no company wants to appear on this list, and in fact none of the companies that appeared on the 2017 list are repeat offenders this year. So maybe there's a motivational factor at play here that negative publicity can spur companies to be more proactive in their safety management.
According to National COSH data, workplace deaths in the U.S. are on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that there were 5,190 deaths from workplace trauma in 2016, an increase of 7% from 2015 and a 12% increase since 2012.
“It’s heartbreaking to see workers lose their lives when we know these tragedies could have been prevented,” says Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, co-executive director of National COSH. “Time and again, employers are warned about unsafe conditions. When companies fail to correct safety hazards, it is workers who pay the ultimate price.”
The following slides examine why these 12 companies appear on the 2018 "Dirty Dozen" list.