thesynergist | COMMUNITY

AIHA Publishes Visual Chronicle of America's Workers
On Sept. 13, AIHA announced the release of a collectible book of photographs by renowned labor and occupational health photographer Earl Dotter at the headquarters of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations in Washington, D.C. The new book is titled Life’s Work–A 50 Year Photographic Chronicle of Working in the U.S.A. Dotter, an honorary member of AIHA who is often referred to as the “American worker’s poet laureate,” illustrates with photographs dangerous and unhealthy working environments. Each of the five hundred images in Life’s Work is a testimony to the hazards that workers face, from asbestos to hazardous chemicals.  The new book contains highlights from exhibits that Dotter created, from his first photographs of coal miners in 1968 through the present. Thirty experts—including Peg Seminario, AFL/CIO’s safety and health director, and Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, who is co-executive director at the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health—introduce each of the book’s 15 chapters. These experts also contribute observations on related issues at the close of each chapter, significantly broadening the book’s scope. “Compelling images and audio alone may not change the world, but they demand attention to those who might otherwise be ignored,” said Howard Berkes, a correspondent for the National Public Radio Investigations Unit. “They give voice to the voiceless and display the faces of the faceless. They expose us to their workplace and worlds. They remind us that work is sacred and that every worker deserves fair play, fair treatment, and the ability to return home every day, whole and healthy and alive.” Life’s Work closes with an illustrated postscript section, where for the first time Dotter traces his photographic trajectory. For more information on the new publication, visit AIHA's website. AIHA previously published Dotter’s first book, The Quiet Sickness: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America, in 1998. The Quiet Sickness is currently out of print.  In 2014, a photo essay by Dotter appeared in a special supplement to The Synergist that was published to celebrate AIHA’s 75th anniversary. The photo essay is available via the Synergist archives in the AIHA Member Center (PDF).