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Occupational safety and health training program grant renewed

Graduate students pursuing degrees in environmental and occupational health in the Industrial Hygiene Program at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health will continue to be supported by a National Institutes of Health training grant.
Researchers from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health will use a $750,000 grant to train graduate students whose career paths support the mission of the Industrial Hygiene Program.

Occupational safety and health training program grant renewed

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, awarded a $750,000 training program grant to researchers at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health to support master’s students in the Industrial Hygiene Program.

Industrial hygiene is the art and science devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards. It focuses on worker protection from hazards that could include chemical, physical, biological, radiological and ergonomic agents.

“Occupational injury and illness affect millions of workers and their families every year and are tremendous economic burdens on our society,” said principal investigator Jeff Burgess, MD, MS, MPH, professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health. “Highly qualified, technically competent and passionate industrial hygienists are needed to prevent occupational illness, injury and fatalities.”

The training grant supports the mission of the Industrial Hygiene Program, which has been preparing students for careers in occupational health and safety since 1978.

The program is the only one of its kind in the Southwest, where mining is prevalent due to the rich endowments of copper and related commodities. The program curriculum and internship opportunities both include specific considerations for mining health and safety.

“Demand for industrial hygiene professionals from the mining industry, the expanding manufacturing sector and agriculture continues to grow so that workers stay safe as the economy expands,” said project coordinator Shannon Newton, MPH, CIH. “This training program grant is critical to increasing the number of industrial hygiene practitioners in Arizona by providing financial assistance and quality training support to a diverse cohort of students who plan to work in the field of occupational safety and health.”

Comprehensive coursework and applied research experience are provided in key areas of industrial hygiene, including air monitoring theory and practice, occupational safety, physical exposures, toxicology, and environmental health. Graduates find employment as occupational safety and health professionals in industry, government and academia.