My internship position is with Nova Environmental in Ann Arbor, MI, where I am considered an industrial hygienist or a consultant. My responsibility is to travel to k-12 schools or colleges in the state of Michigan, on behalf of Nova Environmental, and monitor construction and abatement crews. The schools are under renovation or abatement, and I oversee crews to make sure they are operating within OSHA and EPA guidelines. I also monitor air quality by examining the fibers in the air so the workplace does not become hazardous, to keep both the workers and everyone else safe and healthy. After the construction or removal is completed, I also conduct a final air sample to ensure the school is 100% safe for kids and employees to return in the fall.
The work that Nova does is crucial to the health and safety of everyone; the kids, the environment, the employees of the schools, the work crews, and more. It’s important to have a company of people passionate about the safety and well-being of others, and Nova does just that. There are also a lot of legal requirements that surround this company, like legal limits for asbestos exposure, or the amount of liters of air required to be sampled in a k-12 school versus a college. Nova follows these rules strictly, because when dealing with the health of the general public, it is ideal to go above and beyond to make sure the process is done flawlessly.
During my first two weeks at the office, I’ve learned how to operate all of the equipment necessary for my job; air pumps, vaporizers, personal pumps, and more. I’ve also been thoroughly trained on how to fill out paperwork properly for both the office and the state of Michigan, which can be a little intimidating because I really don’t want to screw that up, but luckily I have very patient and helpful co-workers who are all happy to help me and make sure I know exactly what I’m doing and why.
So far I’ve had the chance to shadow a fellow full-time co worker on a long term project in Warren, MI and also another in Ypsilanti, MI. It was incredibly helpful to see the things I learned in the office out in the world. I’m a very much a visual and hands on learner, so I really got a feel for what it would be like when I start a project of my own, which is right around the corner!!!