Brianna Singleton Presents OHIP Study of Transit Workers at APHA

Photo: Brianna Singleton
Brianna Singleton

OHIP intern Brianna Singleton represented the UCSF School of Nursing at the 2016 American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in Denver. Singleton was selected to share her work during the session: Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP): Thirteen years on – still shaping the future of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).

Singleton is a first-year PhD student studying with Professor Oi Saeng Hong, director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing Graduate Program in the UCSF Department of Community Health Systems. At the conference, Singleton represented the next generation of health and safety professionals among a panel that included OHIP founder and Sr. Physician Diplomate Robert Harrison from the UCSF School of Medicine and OHIP National Program Coordinator Sarah Jacobs from the UCLA-Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program.

Photo: Twenty-five undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation are selected to be part of the Occupational Health Internship Program.
Twenty-five undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation are selected to be part of the 2016 Occupational Health Internship Program.

Each year OHIP receives hundreds of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences and admits roughly 25 students per summer. Since the first groups of students were admitted to the Program in the summer of 2004, 214 interns have worked on 109 occupational health and safety projects, according to OHIP.

Singleton’s project aimed to identify the various factors that contribute to major health and safety consequences among workers from Local 689 and Local 1764 of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) located in Silver Spring, Maryland. The two locals represent roughly 14,500 transit workers in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Brianna Singleton and Russell Bateman meet with a group of power rail workers.

“Being able to work with public transportation workers in Washington D.C. was a tremendous honor. I’m still humbled that people would trust me enough with their stories and I was allowed to be part of a bigger effort in making their working conditions better,” Singleton said in a press release. “Attending the APHA conference reminded me that I am one of thousands of aspiring people who are doing their part in making the world a more just, and equitable, and healthy place for everyone.”

Whether it is unsafe working conditions, extremely long hours, or lack of support from management, transit employees work some of the most high stress and dangerous jobs, her study found.

Singleton’s OHIP internship had a lasting influence. She since decided to change the focus of her PhD research to the working conditions of rail track workers, ensuring the investigation she started over the summer of 2016 will live well beyond her internship.

back to top