U Announces Safe Workplace Scholarship Recipients

U Announces Safe Workplace Scholarship Recipients

Jul 17, 2003 6:00 PM

The University of Utahs Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) has announced the recipients of its Safe Workplace Program scholarships for the 2003-2004 academic year.

The program provides scholarships in industrial hygiene and ergonomics and safety. A new scholarship for graduate students in occupational medicine was added this year. The scholarship program, which is funded by the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) of Utah, supports research in occupational diseases and injuries.

This years scholarship recipients are: Matthew R. Johns, whos pursuing a Master of Science degree in public health with emphasis in industrial hygiene; Eric A. Ellis, whos working on a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, specializing in ergonomics and safety; and Laura Kaufman, an incoming resident, who received the new scholarship in occupational medicine. Each student will receive $3,500.

"WCF of Utah is committed to making every Utah workplace safer. Well-trained safety professionals play a vital role in reducing workplace injuries through employer consultation, workplace inspections, and employee training," said Lane A. Summerhays, chief executive officer of WCF. "The recipients of the Safe Workplace Scholarship share this goal, and have committed themselves to careers that will make Utah a better and safer place to work."

Last year, 61 out 1.1 million workers in Utah died as a result of workplace injuries. The U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that work-related illness and injuries last year cost companies $171 billion in lost income, retraining, and other related costs.

The Us Department of Family and Preventive Medicine established RMCOEH in 1977 to meet the need for a comprehensive occupational and environmental health and safety program in the Intermountain West. RMCOEH is one of only 16 education and research centers supported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. It offers graduate and continuing education programs in occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, ergonomics and safety, occupational injury prevention, and hazardous-substances control. More than 300 students have graduated from its academic programs, half of whom work in businesses or government agencies in Utah.

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