“Everyone is required to have bright neon laces in their safety boots or shoes. The idea behind this is that your laces will catch the attention of others and they will see where you are walking or if you are heading toward a potential tripping hazard.” — Evan Rinke (’16), UF Environmental, Safety and Occupational Health Management student and summer 2015 intern at BASF Chemical Corporation.
Evan is interning at BASF Chemical Corporation in Wyandotte, Michigan, which is a 250-acre facility with 1,500 employees largely focused on research and development. He’s hoping to leave with as broad experience of the industry as possible and wants to apply everything he’s learned in the classroom to real life situations, and he says he’s already been given the opportunity to use his classroom knowledge. “Without my ESOH 400 course I would have been lost with an Air Permit Renewal, but I’ve heard all the information and terms in class.”
Evan continued by telling us a little more about his internship experience…
What is the focus of your internship?
“In order to achieve a broad understanding of the industry, my internship is broken down into three mini-rotations consisting of 3-4 weeks each. My first rotation is with the Environmental Group working to collect chemical data from all of the research labs on site in order to prove that these labs are research or pilot process based and not production plants and are below their emission threshold. My second rotation is focused mainly on safety and industrial hygiene where I’ll be doing illumination studies to determine if certain places need to be better lit. I’ll also be working to format a safety pamphlet for contracted workers that includes BASF safety rules, guidelines and the evacuation route off site. My third, and final, rotation will focus on emergency response.”
What are you hoping to learn?
“The main thing I’m looking forward to learning is how exactly to apply everything I’ve learned in the classroom into real life situations. Overall, I am learning how to work with people to make things run as smoothly and safely as possible. I am looking forward to soaking up as much as I can! The OH-MI-CAN hub EHS team I am part of for the summer has been designated as one of the best in North America in regards to safety. A big part of this success, to me, is due in part to the safety innovations that BASF is working to incorporate – like the requirement to wear neon laces – this is just one example of something BASF’s safety innovations has come up with!”