266779 Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP): Students Shaping the Future of OHS

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Sarah Jacobs, MPH , Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program (LOSH), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA
Roxana Said, MPH Candidate , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Jaire Saunders, MPH candidate , Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Robert Harrison, MD, MPH , Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Health Services, Richmond, CA
Linda Delp, PhD, MPH , Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program (LOSH), University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Matt London, MS , Health and Safety Department, NYS PEF, Albany, NY
Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD
Ingrid A. Denis, MA , Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Washington, DC
Katherine Kirkland, DrPH, MPH , Association of Occupational & Environmental Clinics, Washington, DC
Lindsay McCormick, MPH , Office of Children's Health Protection, Association of Schools of Public Health/ US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
Carmen Martinez , School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, Anaheim, CA
Mary Kathryn Fletcher , Occupational Health Internship Program, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, Washington, DC
Tori Crain , Department of Applied Psychology, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Workers continue to face a myriad of health and safety (H&S) problems, yet the current H&S workforce is aging and the number of new professionals entering the field is diminishing. Since 2004, the Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) has played an important role in shaping the future field. OHIP graduates have been making an impact on OHS through their research, teaching and patient care.

OHIP interns with different technical, language and cultural skills are paired and placed in summer internships with unions or community groups. The teams investigate specific H&S concerns raised by workers employed in underserved or high hazard jobs. The emphases are to give students the opportunity to interact directly with workers and observe them under working conditions; provide students an understanding of the complexity of the work environment; demonstrate the importance and rewarding nature of OHS; and provide useful resources to workers.

A panel of OHIP students will present their 2012 projects. Several proposed projects likely to be reported include: the impact of Cal/OSHA's outdoor heat illness prevention standard on contingent workers without union representation, with language and cultural barriers, and with limited knowledge of workers' rights, H&S conditions among workers in the warehouse industry, and chemical and radiologic exposures of retired workers at a Department of Energy gaseous diffusion plant.

Presenters will describe how they involved workers in formulating their project, summarize their findings and recommendations and describe the health education product that they provided to their host union or community group.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to: 1. Explain the goal of student-worker collaborative field-based experience to address workplace hazards to address workplace hazards. 2. Describe how participatory research projects can help motivate public health students or students in a related discipline to enter the field of OHS. 3. Describe the benefits of pairing students and workers who share a common language or culture to identify and address workplace hazards.

Keywords: Occupational Health Programs, Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the national Program Coordinator for the Occupational Health Internship Program and oversee all internship sites.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.