Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Worker Advocates Win Journalism's Polk Awards

Two safety advocates whose articles have been covered in Confined Space have won Polk Awards awards for extraordinary journalism. The 2004 Awards will be presented at a luncheon on April 21, 2005.

Walt Bogdanich of the New York Times won the national reporting category, his fourth Polk award, for his series on how railroad companies were able to sidestep regulations.

Justin Pritchard, the AP's news editor for Southern California, won the labor reporting prize for his investigation into the high rate of work-related deaths among Mexican workers in America.

These are the kind of articles (along with David Barstow's articles on Death in the Workplace and Andrew Schneider's asbestos coverage) that you should be showing to your local reporters when they don't quite know how to handle a workplace accident. These journalists know how to investigate the root causes of these incidents and show how politics affects peoples' chances of staying alive and healthy. But they can also show other journalists the fame and awards that can be won by following up on these stories that are otherwise relegated to a few paragraphs in the back pages.

All of Bogdanich's original articles can be found here.

Confined Space articles that cover Bogdanich's investigations are here:

Blood On (and near) The Tracks

Head of Federal Railroad Administration Resigns Under Pressure

Behavioral Safety Comes To The Railroads

Look Both Ways -- And Then Pray

As If That Wasn't Bad Enough...More on Rail Safety

Links to Pritchard's orginal articles can be found at the Polk Awards webpage (scroll down). Confined Space stories based on Pritchard's articles can be found here:

What is OSHA Doing About Immigrant Worker Safety?

Mexican Workers in the U.S.: Impaled, Shredded in Machinery, Buried Alive