Spotlight on Safety: Prepare to be Safe at a First Job or Internship | AIChE

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Spotlight on Safety: Prepare to be Safe at a First Job or Internship

Spotlight on Safety


If you are a new graduate starting your first job or a student beginning a summer internship at a chemical plant, laboratory, or manufacturing facility, this might be your first time working in the presence of heavy machinery and chemicals. Although equipment and chemicals present many hazards, safeguards are in place to protect you. For instance, instrumentation and shutdown systems to detect and control abnormal or upset conditions are designed into the process and installed during plant construction and placement of equipment. An additional safeguard that you can control is your knowledge of hazards and situational awareness, which you can build before you even enter the plant or laboratory.

An internship can be a pivotal moment in your career that can offer lessons on the importance of safety and how to protect yourself. In 1977, after my freshman year in college, I accepted a summer internship at a manufacturing site.

On my first day on-site, two engineers showed me around the plant, which took us to a second-floor structure above three rotary...

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