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The 2019 Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture Announced

Print Article Contributed by FSM Staff

FALLS CHURCH, VA -- The American Industrial Hygiene Association announces that the 2019 Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture will be presented by Jeffrey Meitrodt, an investigative reporter with Minneapolis' Star Tribune.

The lecture will take place at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce EXP 2019) on Monday, May 20, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Meitrodt's lecture, titled "The Price of Neglecting Farm Safety in the Midwest," offers an inside view of the reporting behind his award-winning four-part series of article "Tragic Harvest" and its impact on farm safety in Minnesota.

In rural America, where agricultural workers are dying at rates higher than those of coal miners, farmers often take risks that are no longer tolerated in other work environments. But in Minnesota and other Midwestern states, virtually no one is protecting small farmers. Safety programs have been dismantled, funding has disappeared and in most states rules prevent inspectors from visiting farms with fewer than 11 workers — which is where most of the fatal accidents are happening. Meitrodt revealed the price of such neglect in "Tragic Harvest" article series, which examines a troubling spike in farm deaths that went completely unnoticed by state and federal officials charged with overseeing workplace safety.

"Public officials claim they are doing farmers a favor by exempting them from safety rules that govern the rest of American industry, but the reality is that farmers are being treated like expendable cogs in the machinery of American food manufacturing. Sadly, this crisis stays under the radar because farmers are dying individually, instead of in large groups like coal miners or plant workers," says Meitrodt.

The lecture will begin at 3:15 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, May 20, at the AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis. Members of local media who are interested in obtaining press passes to this event should contact Ina Xhani, AIHA's communication specialist.









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