National COSH Announces “Dirty Dozen” Unsafe Employers for 2024

25 Apr 2024

For immediate release
Contact: Roger Kerson,, 734.645.0535

National COSH Announces 
“Dirty Dozen” Unsafe Employers for 2024

Uber and Lyft, Tyson, Waffle House, Walmart 
among companies singled out for poor safety practices

LOS ANGELES – The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) announced today the 2024 “Dirty Dozen” list of employers who put workers and communities at risk due to unsafe practices. The Dirty Dozen report is released each year as part of the observance of Workers’ Memorial Week, which takes place this year from April 21 through April 28. 

“This is an exciting and challenging time for U.S. workers,” said Jessica E. Martinez, MPH, co-executive director of National COSH. “It’s exciting to see a renewed interest in joining unions, participating in workers’ centers and connecting with advocacy campaigns. The challenge facing workers who are fighting for something better is that conditions in U.S. workplaces are getting worse.”

“The latest data show an increase in workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses,” said Martinez. “An increasing number of children are being assigned to dangerous jobs, and the reality of climate change is bringing the risk of extreme heat to both indoor and outdoor workplaces.”

“We release the Dirty Dozen each year to shine a light on what’s going wrong in U.S. workplaces – and to support workers who are joining together to make it right.”

This year’s Dirty Dozen, in alphabetical order: 

Alabama Department of Corrections: Forced labor in Alabama prisons disproportionately targets Black men and women, who face hazardous conditions for $2 a day or less. 

Ascension: Severe staff cuts create unsafe conditions for patients and workers at the nation’s largest Catholic health care system. Nurses are fighting back. 

Black Iron/XL Concrete: One worker dies from electrocution; another loses a thumb at a company with 29 OSHA violations during the past decade. Black Iron workers in Nevada vote to join the Iron Workers union in 2022 and they have just learned their election is finally certified, a significant step forward in winning safer working conditions. 

Costa Farms: In 2021, a worker dies from heat exhaustion at a Costa Farms nursery in Miami. Two years later, company executives lobby against a Miami-Dade heat safety ordinance. In 2024, the Florida legislature bans all local heat protections.

Florence Hardwoods: 16-year old Michael Shuls is crushed to death inside a stalled conveyor at this lumber mill in northern Wisconsin. The company has been previously cited for failure to properly lock out and guard machinery – the same hazards that Shuls. 

Mar-Jac Poultry and Onin Staffing: Duvan Pérez, an immigrant teenager is killed at this poultry firm, which has a troubling history of safety violations.

Space X and the Boring Company: Workers suffer crushed limbs, amputations, chemical burns and a preventable death at companies owned by billionaire Elon Musk. Workers say Musk is obsessed with speed, but disregards safety.

Tyson Foods: Six workers have died on the job at Tyson since 2019, and over 140 others have suffered injuries from hazardous ammonia leaks. 

Uber and Lyft: Over 80 mobile app workers have been killed on the job since 2017, most of them working for Uber and Lyft. Workers of color and immigrants bear the brunt of these dangers.

Valor Security and Investigations: New York City firm is indicted for selling fake safety certificates, endangering workers who never receive any training. Construction worker Ivan Frias – with a “certificate” from Valor but never trained – falls to his death in 2022. 

Waffle House: Restaurants in this 24-hour, 365-days-per-year chain “have developed a reputation as a hotbed for violence.” Workers are organizing to win better safety and security. 

Walmart: Janikka Perry, pressured to avoid taking sick time, dies alone and crying out for help in a Walmart bathroom. Her family and colleagues demand better sick leave policies – and protections from workplace violence.

“After being violently assaulted by a passenger, there was no substantive or meaningful response that ever came from the rideshare company,” said JC Muhammad, Lyft driver and organizer with The People’s Lobby and Chicago Gig Alliance. “At that moment, I also realized that there wasn’t anything in place to prevent it from happening to me again. So not only was the experience extremely traumatic, but it opened my eyes to the fact that the personal safety of drivers is not actually a priority for Lyft and Uber.”

“I’ve been robbed at gunpoint and had someone try to steal my cash register drawer,” said Cindy Smith, a 29-year veteran of the restaurant chain. “Two of my long-time customers have a niece that works at Waffle House. She was shot in the head during an early morning shift and left disabled for the rest of her life.”

“These horrible incidents keep happening,” said Smith, “but Waffle House has never taken real action to prevent violence, like putting 24-hour security in our restaurants. That’s one of the big things our union is fighting for – better safety for employees and customers.”  

The Dirty Dozen are selected by the National COSH team, with nominations from our network of COSH groups, workers, safety activists, union members, health and safety professionals and academic experts from across the country. 

Criteria include the severity of risks to workers; repeat and serious violations of safety standards and applicable laws; the position of a company within its industry and the economy and its ability to influence broader workplace standards, and the presence of a campaign by workers and/or allies to correct health and safety problems.

Workers Memorial Week is a global event which remembers workers who lost their lives on the job and their families, as well as recognizing those who suffer from occupational injuries and illnesses. The event is marked by worker actions, vigils and rallies around the world, with a focus on winning safer working conditions to avoid future preventable tragedies.


The 2024 Dirty Dozen report on unsafe employers is available here
National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit Follow us @NationalCOSH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.