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Keywords:

  • safety and health education;
  • innovative approaches;
  • interdisciplinary education;
  • graduate education

Abstract

Background

The New York and New Jersey Education and Research Center (ERC) provides a range of graduate continuing education for occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals in training. A key element of the education is to provide interdisciplinary training to industrial hygienists, ergonomists, occupational medicine physicians and other health and safety trainees to prepare them for the collaboration required to solve the complex occupational health and safety problems they will face in their careers.

Methods

This center has developed an innovative interdisciplinary training approach that provides an historical aspect, while allowing the graduate students to identify solutions to occupational issues from a multi-disciplinary approach. The ERC developed a tour that brings students to sites of historical and/or contemporary significance in the occupational safety and health and environmental fields.

Results

The ERC has conducted five tours, and has included 85 students and residents as participants. 80% of participants rated the tour as providing a high amount of OSH knowledge gained. 98% of the participants felt the goal of providing interdisciplinary education was achieved.

Conclusions

This tour has been successful in bridging the OSH fields to better understand how occupational and environmental exposures have occurred, in order to prevent future exposures so that workplace conditions and health can be improved. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:515–520, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.