Boeing’s Renton, Washington factory covers 1.1 million square feet, with more than 13,000 employees producing more than 50 narrow body commercial jets per month. In summer 2019, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Public Health student, Mr. Benjamin Tate, joined a team assessing exposures to hazards across the thousands of individual processes and work stations that make up the manufacturing of an airplane.
As a student in the MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) program with a concentration in Industrial Hygiene, Mr. Tate completed his MPH applied practice experience at Boeing, ensuring the company’s practices are in compliance with federal and state regulations and working to protect the health and well-being of the company’s employees.
“Everyone spends a majority of their life at work, and work has a huge impact on your home life,” Mr. Tate said. “If I can improve someone’s work life, I’m improving their life overall by doing so.”
Mr. Tate worked with employees to mitigate a few specific hazards. He led noise monitoring efforts, equipping Boeing employees with a noise dosimeter to track the amount of noise a worker is exposed to throughout the course of the workday. He then analyzed the data to make sure noise exposure is below regulatory levels and enrolls people with overexposure to noise in a hearing conversation program.
With thousands of confined spaces across Boeing’s mammoth facility, Mr. Tate also examined how the company prepares workers for hazards encountered in confined spaces, reviewing Boeing’s policies and comparing to the requirements of the State of Washington and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).Friday Letter Submission, Publish on March 20