Reflecting on My Internship
By Yasmin E.
During my internship, I have had the valuable experience of learning how light rail sites are constructed, planned, and integrated with safety. Within the first few weeks, I truly dove into the work of safety certification. Safety certification is a process of certifying different hazards with an initial risk rating as well as a mitigation and a final risk rating. Many stakeholders are responsible for the risk ratings, including people outside of the field of safety. There are several people, from firefighters to police officers, that take part in the process of making sure all hazards are identified to make these stations safe for operators as well as riders.
Within my internship, I’ve worked on a master log of hazards identified from several past projects. This means there are hundreds of hazards to sift through, many of which are redundant or need updates with sources. I’ve been tasked to sift through these hazards to make sure the risk ratings are accurate, their references to associated codes are up to date, as well as identify other hazards that are closely related and can be combined.
The most important skills for this task are to be very familiar with excel, as well as keep an open mind when re-reviewing these hazards. When working with hundreds of columns and rows, it can be easy to get lost. When re-reviewing risk ratings, it’s important to use the matrix to determine risk. It is also important to think about these situations with different perspectives and be flexible.
The support that will help the most to be successful on this project is a project mentor. It’s also very important to keep good communication and not be afraid to ask questions. In my few weeks of experience, there were several questions that I had to ask, and occasionally I must have safety information re-iterated. Although I will never completely get the big picture within my limited time as an intern, it’s important to soak in as much information as I can.