Magazine article The Nation's Health

Occupational Health, Hazards Focus of Internship Program

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Occupational Health, Hazards Focus of Internship Program

Article excerpt

WHETHER investigating heat stress among industrial laundry workers or studying the backbreaking work performed by hotel housekeepers, students with an interest in occupational safety and health are now learning about the field from those with the most at stake: the workers. Through the Occupational Health Internship Program, students spend a summer working in pairs on projects tied to their skills and interests.


The program, operated under the auspices of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, links the skills and interests of students with the needs of workers to eliminate workplace hazards. The program is open to any student enrolled in an accredited college or university who will have completed at least two years of college by the summer of their internship, as well as students enrolled in graduate programs.

"We get students from all over the country," said APHA member and program coordinator Gail Bateson, MS, noting that teams of students are placed on projects for eight weeks in either New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles or San Diego.

The nationwide program traces its beginnings to the 2001 APHA Annual Meeting, when members of the APHA Occupational Health and Safety Section decided to resurrect a similar summer internship program that had operated in the late 1970s, Bateson said.

Funded in part by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the program has grown steadily since its 2004 launch, Bateson said.

Past research projects have focused on the hazards experienced by day laborers in Los Angeles, bricklayers' exposure to silica dust and heat illness among California farm-workers. …

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