Thursday, October 16, 2008

Worker Safety Documentary

When filmmaker Abby Ginzberg visited the Law School this week, she donated to the library Those Who Know Don't Tell: The Ongoing Battle For Workers' Health. Narrated by Studs Terkel, this film

traces the history of the struggle to rid the workplace of occupational hazards. Using archival footage, union songs and interviews, it tells its story both from the point of view of the labor activists and those within the medical profession who became their advocates.

The fight for occupational health began almost one hundred years ago with Dr. Alice Hamilton's discovery of lead-caused industrial disease. She was followed by others such as Dr. Harriet Hardy of M.I.T., who discovered the dangers of beryllium. More recently, Dr. Irving Selikoff uncovered the danger of asbestos to workers and publicized his findings despite pressure from the asbestos industry to silence him.

Through tragedies such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, unions and workers began effective organizing for occupational safety. This powerful discussion starter should be shown in courses dealing with labor, American history, community medicine and public health.
It's being processed, but it will soon be available at HD7654 .T57 1989 in the Classified Stacks.

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