Keeping employees safe has become a critical corporate responsibility during COVID-19. An estimated 25-30 million people in the US are unable to work from home but also face a high risk of severe infection.

Many consumer-facing companies have installed plastic barriers, required customers to wear masks, provided additional paid sick leave, and taken other measures to protect employees and customers. But which companies have a sustained record of keeping employees safe, both during the pandemic and before?

Ethos rates companies on creating decent, safe work opportunities over time, combining ~155,000 data points from metrics such as worker safety fines, public controversies related to workplace safety, recordable safety incidents, quality of health and safety policies, and ratio of employees making a living wage (see details and all ratings here).

Ratings are relative to other companies and industry peers, and reflect company performance over the past 3 years. Our goal is to encourage companies to continuously improve their impact practices and outcomes.

Top 50 companies for worker health and safety

#1: Nvidia

When COVID-19 hit the US, Nvidia was one of the first to shut all offices worldwide and ask employees to work from home. Nvidia also moved up yearly performance reviews to give employees raises sooner, and continues to pay global contractors during the pandemic, regardless of whether they’re able to work. Nvidia reported that 94 percent of employees said they felt well-supported by NVIDIA during the crisis.

Nvidia's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Nvidia on Ethos  

#2: Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote about the company's response to COVID-19 early in the pandemic, including providing software infrastructure to hospitals and the CDC to help enable safe work practices such as telemedicine. Microsoft also extended its optional work-from-home policy for most employees through October, 2020.

Microsoft's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Microsoft on Ethos  

#3: Range Resources

The Texas-based oil and gas company has a strong track record of keeping workers safe, including a significantly lower recordable incident rate than industry average. The company's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Range Resources on Ethos  

#4: VF Corporation

The owner of brands such as North Face, Timberland, and Vans has implemented "increased safety protocols" at its manufacturing and distribution centers, continued paying North American retail employees while stores are closed, and paid supplier factories for completed work. The company also released a "COVID-19 Prevention Reference" to help retail stores and offices keep workers safe during reopening, and donated more than $10 million to support COVID-related medical needs in the communities it serves.

VF's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about VF on Ethos  

#5: Nike

Starting in mid-March, Nike closed most of its owned and wholesale partner stores outside Greater China and South Korea to protect the health and safety of employees. Nike is following a "comprehensive, six-step process before we reopen our stores," including protocols for buildings, products, consumer communications, and new service guidelines. The company is also making reusable face coverings available to all Nike store employees.

Nike's metrics for worker safety include:

  • 100/100 rating for wage comparison to industry peers (Just Capital)
  • 0 safety incidents per 100 FTEs (OSHA)
  • No worker safety fines in the past 3 years (Violation Tracker)
  • 4.1/5 employee ratings for workplace culture (Ethos)

See more about Nike on Ethos  

#6: Kosmos Energy

The oil and gas company has a strong record of commitment to worker safety, including a "comprehensive management system" of expectations in safety, risk management, emergency preparedness, and environmental protection for all Kosmos employees and contractors.

Kosmos Energy's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Kosmos Energy on Ethos 

#7: General Motors

GM responded to COVID-19 by shifting production to create masks and other protective equipment, moving most salaried employees to work from home, suspending production in North American manufacturing facilities, and expanding facility cleaning and sanitization services for employees performing "critical services." To help employees return to in-person work safely, GM created a plan based on CDC and WHO guidelines.

GM's metrics for worker safety include:

  • 10/10 score for health and safety practices (Just Capital)
  • Top 30 for diversity and inclusion human capital outcomes (DiversityInc)
  • 80/100 rating for gender equality in the workplace (Equileap)

See more about General Motors on Ethos  

#8: Agilent

Agilent's response to COVID-19 included asking their 16,000 employees to work from home when possible, restricting all international travel by air and rail to business-critical purposes only, and loosening sickness and time off policies. 

Agilent's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Agilent on Ethos  

#9: Biogen

While the pharmaceutical company made headlines for unwittingly spreading COVID-19 at one of its conferences in March, 2020, the company has also made a strong effort to keep its workers safe and minimize risk of further spreading the virus. Examples include directing employees to work from home if possible, implementing temperature testing and screening, and developing digital models to support the medical community, such as a virtual learning lab.

Biogen's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Biogen on Ethos  

#10: Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation's response to COVID-19 included allowing many employees to work from home, moving support and training services online, limiting visitors and cancelling events, and enhancing cleaning procedures. 

Rockwell Automation's metrics for worker safety include:

See more about Rockwell Automation on Ethos  


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