April 26, 2016—The Heartland Center for Occupational Health & Safety, the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and the UI Office of Outreach and Engagement co-hosted a screening of the film A Day’s Work.
The film focuses on the story of Daquan “Day” Davis, a young temporary worker who was crushed to death by a palletizer during his first day on the job in a Jacksonville, Florida bottling plant. Davis had been on the job for just 90 minutes, provided with only 15-minutes of training before he started work. As a temporary worker, he got the job through a staffing agency, which raised the question: who was responsible for his death? A Day’s Work explores this and other troubling issues raised by Davis’s story.
The film was followed by a panel discussion led and moderated by the film’s executive producer, Dave DeSario. The expert panel included Jesse Case, State Political Director for the Teamsters Union; Dr. Patrick Hartley, Medical Director at UI HealthWorks, UI Employee Health Clinic, and the WORKSAFE IOWA OSH Priority Network; Brandi Janssen, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Iowa Department of Occupational & Environmental Health and the director of I-CASH; Joe Mullen, Public Manager I at the Iowa Division of Labor; and Jen Wilken, Risk Control Manager at QPS Employment Group. Each speaker shared their perspective and expertise as they related to the issues raised by the film. After these remarks, the floor was opened to the audience, who asked questions of the panel, as well as sharing their own perspectives on intersecting questions of safety, ethics, politics, and the law.
The screening was attended by a broad cross-section of the community, including laborers, occupational health and safety experts, University of Iowa faculty, representatives of the temporary staffing industry, and staff from the University of Iowa Labor Center. This diverse audience held a passionate conversation that lasted well beyond the planned end of the event. A total of 65 people were present for the event.
The screening was sponsored by Iowa’s Building Trades Unions, the Laborer-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, Carpenters Local 1260, the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and a grant from the University of Iowa’s Office of Outreach & Engagement as part of the university’s Just Living Social Justice Theme Semester.
For more information on Day Davis’ story, and its implications for safety in the temporary staffing industry, read this report by ProPublica.
To learn more about protecting temporary workers, including who is legally responsible for their safety on the job, see OSHA’s temporary worker resources.
To learn about your right to a safe workplace, see OSHA’s resources for workers.