Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Environmental Health and Safety Internships for Graduate Students

Several of the graduate students in the MSF 603: Occupational Safety class I teach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) have been asking where to find information on occupational safety and health (OSH) or environmental health and safety (EHS) internships that select graduate students.

After snarkily responding that they can use the internet as well as I can, I realized that they would not have asked if the answer was easy to find. Most of the internship opportunities available are slated for undergraduate students, so there seem to be far fewer internships for graduate students. 

This dearth of graduate student internship opportunities may be for a few reasons:

  • Companies seeking interns are hoping to snag an eager new undergraduate who will work for cheap (or free) rather than a well-trained graduate student, both of which are hoping for a transition into a full-time position.
  • Companies seeking interns may assume that graduate students are already well-established professionals in their chosen field - which is not always the case.
  • OSH and EHS graduate students can frequently be employed in work-study or graduate assistant positions within their university, making it difficult to commit to a summer internship without losing their employment.

As with most questions, the answer could be far simpler: companies seeking interns are not purposefully excluding graduate students. The internship opportunities for OSH and EHS usually require that the student must be a junior or senior year undergraduate. This means that the companies are likely looking for a student nearing graduation. Master's level graduate students certainly fit this requirement.

I did some quick internet searching of my favorite job-hunting sites ("safety intern" on Indeed, EHS Careers, ASSE Job Bank, CareerAdvantage at AIHA, and LinkedIn) to find the following 15 internship opportunities that appear to allow graduate-level applicants.

Health Promotion and Wellness Summer Intern @ NSA

The Health Promotion & Wellness Summer Intern Program is an intense and exciting 12-week internship open to select college undergraduates or master-level students majoring in the field of Health Promotion & Wellness, Health Education, or related fields. Interns will gain practical health promotion experience within the Office of Occupational Health Environmental and Safety Services (OHESS) of the National Security Agency (NSA).

2016 Intern Technical – Environmental, Health & Safety @ Northrup Grumman

Northrop Grumman is seeking undergraduate or graduate students in public health, safety engineering or science, and environmental engineering or science for internship opportunities. These positions will be located at our Electronic Systems Sector in Baltimore, MD. The qualified candidates will become part of Northrop Grumman’s Environmental, Health, Safety and Fire Protection organization working with highly qualified professionals and interacting with employees. Working to ensure worker health & safety and ensuring compliance with these programs, working on environmental program areas to ensure and maintain compliance and protect the environment.

Student Trainee (Engineering) – NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program

This Pathways Intern position is for an engineering student trainee in the Operational Safety Branch located in the Safety and Health Division of the Research and Engineering Directorate at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The Branch provides safety oversight and consultation that results in safe operations and practices of all programs, projects, and workers at GRC. This reduces the probability of injury to personnel and/or the prevention of damage to property. 

EHS (2016) Summer Intern – Environmental Health & Safety @ Spirit Aerospace

Work in the area of Environmental, heath, and safety. Gain experience in industrial hygiene, ergonomics or environmental engineering.

Internship – Safety @ PC Construction

Work hand-in-hand with the safety engineers and project leadership to create a safe working environment for our employees. The safety intern will work alongside the safety engineer in training our employees in safety-related issues and techniques.
Qualified applicants should be enrolled in an Occupational Safety and Health degree program. Experience in the construction industry and/or prior internships in the safety field are preferred. OSHA 10-Hour, First-Aid, and CPR are preferred. Excellent communication skills and the ability to learn quickly and be forward thinking are essential. Spanish bilingual skills are a plus. This internship will begin summer 2016.

Safety Intern @ Mayville Engineering Company

Under the supervision of the Sr. Regional HR Manager and HR & Safety Manager- - assists with the organization's safety, ergonomic, and machine safeguard programs to ensure safe, healthy, and accident-free work environment by performing the following duties.

Internship – Statistics Intern @ 3M

3M is seeking a Statistics Intern for the 3M Oral Care Solutions Division of 3M Health Care. The target start date for this position is summer 2016. Ready to be a part of what's next? The statistics internship role is to acquire general knowledge and understanding quickly within 3M. The intern will work with 3M laboratories and manufacturing plants in product development, process understanding and improvement, test method development, or related areas. The successful candidate will work with an experienced 3M statistician to guide them through the use of appropriate tools and project methodologies. In addition, the intern will have an opportunity to work on ad-hoc efforts and start to build a network of resources.

The candidate should possess good oral and written communication skills along with strong computer skills. They should also have the ability to work on cross-functional teams. Demonstrated leadership ability, organizational skills, and statistical knowledge are all beneficial, along with an interest in hands-on application.

Environmental Health & Safety Intern @ Alta Equipment Company

Alta Equipment Company is currently looking for a part-time intern (15-20 hours per week) in the Human Resources department as an Environmental, Health & Safety Intern. This is an entry level position, where the successful candidate will receive hands on experience in the day-to-day functionality of the corporate safety plan and processes. This internship will conclude in June of 2016, but has the potential to extend further. 

Environmental Health & Safety Intern @ POET

The Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Intern will be supporting an internal initiative to finalize completion of numerous internal safety and environmental systems/programs (PSM, LOTO) in an effort to meet all OSHA and/or EPA requirements. The key focus will be the construction/improvement of existing systems to develop best in class systems. Key requirements will be the ability to review and introduce governmental regulations into a comprehensive EH&S system. Important personal attributes will be attention to detail, strong organizational skills and the ability to work without immediate supervision.

Summer 2016 Safety Internship @ Faith Technologies Electrical Contractor

This position assists in formulating, developing, and coordinating safety and loss control functions.

Safety Intern for Summer 2016 @ Gerdau

Have completed at least two years of a college degree in one of the following fields: Industrial Safety, Environmental/Safety Engineer, or related field. Record of high academic achievement (Minimum GPA 3.0). Well-rounded applicants with leadership roles in student organizations or extra-curricular activities. Must be legally authorized to work in the United States without requiring current or future sponsorship for employment

Intern – Environmental Health & Safety @ Aveda 

Aveda, America’s premier creator and marketer or plant-based haircare, skincare, make-up, PureFume™ and lifestyle products seeks an Employee Health Services Intern to assist the Environmental Health Safety department with projects that enhance our safety culture and environmental mission.

Internship – Site Solutions @ Environ

Ramboll Environ US Corporation (Ramboll Environ) is a leading provider of scientific and regulatory environmental consulting services to clients in both the private and public sectors. As such, Ramboll Environ has earned a reputation as a leader in the areas of environmental risk assessment and management, strategic compliance management and environmental liability.

An 8- to 12-week long internship program is scheduled for the summer of 2016 and will be located in either Irvine or Los Angeles, California.  Each participant will be assigned a mentor who will guide them through project assignments and responsibilities.

Intern, Environmental Health and Safety @ Aviall

Aviall has an exciting position for an Environmental Health & Safety Intern at our Corporate Headquarters located in Dallas, TX.  The EHS Intern will support continuous improvement efforts in the areas of operational compliance to EHS policies and programs, root cause analysis and assessment of corrective actions and preventative actions.  Additionally this internship provides the opportunity to build relationships and develop business acumen through networking with other Aviall interns across the enterprise and interaction with various Aviall leaders. 

Summer Intern OS&H @ Amec Foster Wheeler

Amec Foster Wheeler Construction is currently looking for summer interns to join our growing construction team for summer 2016.  The ideal candidates should be interested in the field construction side of the business and working towards a degree in occupational safety and health. The Summer Internship will require travel to our job site locations where you will work directly with our field teams in a “hands on” industrial construction environment.

There are also several OSH/EHS internships available at companies like Chevron, Ford, Alcoa, Amazon, and Amgen. 

If you are a representative of a company looking for qualified EHS or OSH interns, consider opening up the internship (or modifying the language of your internship description) to graduate students. If there is an internship I missed in this list, let me know and I'll be happy to post it on this blog. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Making of the Healthcare Security and Safety Week Cartoon

At the request of some of my readership, this is a quick "making of" blog post regarding the Healthcare Security and Safety Week cartoon posted October 11, 2015 on this blog.

First I started with the idea: "Ooh, I want to make a cartoon of my team members to recognize their awesomeness during Healthcare Security and Safety Week." The idea happened for two reasons: 1) It's been a couple months since I last drew anything and 2) The cartoons usually make my team chuckle. Plus, a cartoon of yourself is better than a water bottle or other random IAHSS merchandise, right?

After I decided a few weeks in advance that I'd like to reserve a Saturday to work on the cartoon, I attempted to find time to make the cartoon over several weekends, but to no avail. It turns out that holding three jobs (full-time safety officer, part-time professor, and occasional consultant) makes it difficult to also have hobbies. 

That brings us to this past weekend, where I dutifully ignored the pile of laundry, dishes, and student assignments needing to be graded. Since I knew I would only have a few hours in which to complete the cartoon, I started my research by finding a page from Hiromu Arakawa's Fullmetal Alchemist manga that fit the style I needed for the cartoon. This is lazy art, yes, but it's part of improving my art skills.

I happened upon this gem in the 10th volume of Fullmetal Alchemist, the first one I picked out of my bookcase, and the second page I flipped to. It was meant to be!

Scan of title page for Chapter 38: "Signal to Strike" from Fullmetal Alchemist.

This had the number of people I needed (sans Black Hayate, the dog), and most of the heights I needed. I quickly sketched out a pencil version to see if the design would work for the healthcare security and safety team I was trying to represent. 

Quick pencil sketch/draft of Healthcare Security and Safety Week cartoon based on Fullmetal Alchemist.

Obvious changes - the sandwich became a radio, one of the characters was shrunk down to a more accurate size, and clothing was modified to be what the team members usually wear. I kept the cape for our Director - it added a nice bit of flair and a conversation piece for the characters. The I started to ink out the characters and color with colored pencils. I'm still pretty low tech with my art, so manga pens and colored pencils are what I work with.

Fully inked and half-colored, with proposed captions above the characters.

I hate drawing hands and shoes. So most of them are hiding their hands (as per the Fullmetal Alchemist source material) and everyone has the same shoes. If they ask, I'm thinking my answer will be that we're all wearing safety shoes. This is also my first time drawing the Industrious Hygienist (me) as a regular person rather than the "hero" in blue and yellow coveralls like in my other manga. I'm the one with glasses, and I usually dress for work in pants and a button up shirt with cardigan sweater. The fully inked and colored version is below.

Fully inked and colored, captions removed so they could be done on the computer.

I sent the picture above to a fellow team member, requesting a review for accuracy. She (the one wearing orange) mentioned that the dude holding the radio is usually wearing an orange watch band rather than black as pictured. So after scanning in the picture, I made some minor edits in Paint (again, I'm pretty low tech with my art) and changed his watch band to be an orange color. I added the thought/talk bubbles and title using MS Publisher and saved the file as a PDF and JPG. The final, finished version is below. We'll see what they think of their cartoon selves. 

Happy Healthcare Security and Safety Week from the Industrious Hygienist!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Healthcare Security and Safety Week 2015

This week (October 11-15, 2015) is Healthcare Security and Safety Week. The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) established this recognition week to highlight the role of security and safety personnel in healthcare facilities.

Logo for Healthcare Security and Safety Week 2015 from IAHSS

Individuals serving as healthcare security and safety personnel often seem like they are working in the periphery of the healthcare environment - unless the security officers are called to respond to an incident or the safety officer arrives to assist with a chemical spill, you might not notice the valuable work they do to enhance the Environment of Care (EOC).

IAHSS has developed a few key messages associated with Healthcare Security and Safety Week, but I wanted to "flesh out" some ideas about how security and safety team members can be assets to a healthcare organization. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are ostensibly in the business of helping people to improve or maintain their health. Safety and security team members frequently embrace the more practical aspects of service to patients and clinical staff.

With the IAHSS' theme of "Secure Environment/Safe Care," here are some ways that security and safety team members improve the Environment of Care (EOC) of a healthcare facility:

  • watch for suspicious behavior from visitors and staff members
  • train and educate staff about workplace violence prevention
  • conduct emergency management exercises to allow for continued patient care in the event of a disaster or mass casualty event
  • maintain a cache of food and water to sustain patients, visitors, and staff in an emergency or disaster situation
  • ensure emergency eyewash stations are inspected frequently and function properly
  • assess pressurization of certain areas in the hospital, in order to protect patients from airborne contaminants and lower the risk of healthcare-acquired infections (HAI)
  • support monthly generator testing to ensure emergency power is available
  • train and educate staff about reducing corridor clutter, so as to reduce risks to staff and patients in the event of an evacuation
  • train and educate staff about allowable oxygen tank storage
  • survey the facility for slip, trip, and fall hazards
  • train and educate staff about waste minimization and sustainability initiatives
  • conduct audits of hazardous waste streams (including regulated medical waste and sharps, pharmaceutical waste, chemical waste, etc.) to ensure waste is being handled in an appropriate manner
  • remind staff to wash their hands frequently to prevent disease transmission
  • conduct personal protective equipment (PPE) audits to ensure fellow staff members are wearing PPE when needed
Security and safety team members frequently remind staff members, contractors, and physicans to conduct their healthcare-related work in a way that reduces exposure of coworkers and patients to unnecessary hazards. 

The Industrious Hygienist is part of a pretty fantastic team of healthcare security and safety professionals in Arizona. In recognition of Healthcare Security and Safety Week, here's a shout out to the team (I'm the one with glasses):

Celebrate Healthcare Security and Safety Week with the team from your hospital!