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See Something, Do Something

Dornsife School of Public Health students use what they learned in the classroom to improve campus safety

Martin Bell, Professors Taylor and Gallogly, and injury prevention students posing in a group photo 

March 14, 2024 | 1:52 PM

During the last class of Injury Prevention and Control, Dornsife School of Public Health professors Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MPH, CPPS, and Victoria Gallogly, MPH, of the Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST), invited a special guest to help students apply what they've been learning.

Throughout the Winter Term, the class met each Monday on the third floor of the Pearlstein Business Learning Center. The classroom features a centralized sunken floor, with three sets of shallow steps leading from the upper level down to the lower level.

The pattern on the carpeted flooring obscured the edge of each step when walking down the stairs, leading to several instances of the students and professors tripping while moving about the classroom.

With an eye for controlling injury hazards, the professors reached out to Martin Bell, MS, CIH, CSP, Director of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety at Drexel. He met the students in the classroom to oversee a small-scale hazard mitigation project: placing striped traction tape down on the edge of each step.

Martin Bell speaking to injury prevention and control students
Martin Bell, MS, CIH, CSP, speaking to Injury Prevention & Control students.

Bell, a certified industrial hygienist and safety professional, was eager to speak to students about the important work University Real Estate and Facilities does to physically maintain the campus. He explained what hazard mitigation techniques Facilities uses when their employees need to work in dangerous situations, such as roof repairs or biohazard cleanup.

Students worked in teams to measure and place the tape. The improvement was immediate--the steps were much more visible, and everyone felt much safer descending to the lower level of the classroom.

Injury prevention and control students cutting traction tape 
(From left to right): Students Madeline Plummer, Anika Islam, Reese Uku, Johnny Bierk, and Madhumita Kannan taping the classroom stairs.

One of the course objectives was to give students the tools to make the world around them safer. Professors Taylor and Gallogly emphasized the importance of safety citizenship--speaking up when one sees something that could harm another. By working together, the injury prevention and control students literally took the first "step".

Injury prevention and control students pose with their taped steps
(From left to right): Students Jessica Lim, Asha-Leigh Ashton, Linh Han, Riddhi Vyas, Saarah Khairi, and Manya Mittal showcase their work.