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Investigating Workplace Safety and Health Hazards

Liam Romond on Drexel's campus

May 10, 2021

In May 2021, Liam Romond, MPH candidate in Environmental and Occupational Health at the Dornsife School of Public Health, learned that he had been selected for the Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP) this summer.

OHIP is a national internship dedicated to helping students learn more about the field of occupational safety and health by providing them with a hands-on experience working with vulnerable worker populations. At each site across the country, teams of two interns are assigned to a union or worker organization with the objective of identifying and documenting health and safety problems, and then recommending effective ways to reduce or eliminate hazards.

Romond feels grateful to be using this opportunity as his Applied Practical Experience (APE). “I am fortunate to have been selected to the project located in Philadelphia, where I will be working with a local branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) labor union to investigate workplace safety and health hazards among public sector workers,” he said.

The public sector workers in Pennsylvania represent a unique group in that they experience many health and safety hazards on their jobs, but they do not receive Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protection by law. Romond’s primary role will be to collect data and to help create a report that will highlight the issues these public sector workers face, with the ultimate goal of winning OSHA coverage for this worker population.

From his training and mentorship from Dornsife, Romond feels prepared to take on this role.

“I believe that the knowledge and practical skills I have gained in my first year of Dornsife’s MPH program, coupled with experience from previous research opportunities, have equipped me with the tools to succeed with OHIP and improve the conditions of our target population,” said Romond.

“I would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Dr. Tran Huynh, and Dr. Jerry Fagliano of Dornsife, as well as Dr. Colleen Payton and Dr. James Teufel of Moravian College for supporting my application to OHIP and my professional development,” he said. “I'm looking forward to further developing my interest in occupational safety and health practice this summer with OHIP, and I am very appreciative of the entire Dornsife community for helping me progress my academic journey throughout the past year.”

The OHIP program has been in existence since 2004, and the culminating experience is in the form of a presentation at a national conference, such as the annual American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting. 

Learn more about the OHIP internship