D8: Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture — How Pork Plant Execs Sacrificed Safety for Profits

Leo Old, CIH, CSP, PE Moderator
EnSafe Inc.
Memphis, TN 
Rachel Axon Co-Presenter
Gainesville, FL 
Sky Chadde Co-Presenter
Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
Champaign, IL 
Mon, 5/24: 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Education Session 
Room: Virtual 7 


As coronavirus hit in the spring, USA TODAY and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting shifted focus from initial concerns over meat shortages to who bears the brunt of producing that meat. As the industry had the ear of government, workers were on their own and sounding the alarm about dangerous conditions in plants that left them vulnerable to getting coronavirus. Thousands got sick and dozens were dying, the Center's tracker found.

In talking to dozens of workers and pouring through thousands of pages of records, reporters uncovered that Triumph Foods in St. Joseph, Missouri failed to respond with effective safeguards during a crucial period in the spring. Local health officials missed opportunities to investigate complaints and the company lobbied state and federal officials to push back on safety recommendations and keep its plant open.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this lecture, attendees will:
• Understand the impact of COVID on the meatpacking industry
• Understand how OSHA addressed complaints regarding COVID in the meatpacking industry

Course Level



Available as part of AIHce OnDemand
Risk Assessment and Management
Standards, Regulations and Legal Issues
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