My work experience with the OR-FACE team at OHSU

Today we are pleased to share a blog recently posted on the Oregon Young Employee Safety (O[yes]) Coalition webpage that features our own student worker, Yewon Na. Perhaps you are familiar with O[yes] through their annual high school worker safety media contest, online safety awareness training for young workers, or other initiatives. Yewon Na is a Willamette University student studying Environmental Science and Policy as well as a student worker within our Institute’s Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) Program. We thank both Yewon and O[yes] for creating this content and allowing us to share it.

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I have had the opportunity to work as a student researcher for the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) team under Dr. Ryan Olson’s lab of the Occupational Health Sciences department at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). My primary role has consisted of surveillance work, inputting potential occupational injury and fatality cases onto a database with alerts from various governmental agencies, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS), Oregon State Police (OSP), and other news media outlets.

As a fourth-year student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, studying Public Health and Environmental Science as my majors, this position has been a great learning opportunity to gain real work experience in occupational health and to develop my data entry and management skills through surveillance work. Not only has this position allowed me to build organizational skills while working with injury and fatality data, but also to gain knowledge of the different occupational hazards and causes of fatality and injury workers in Oregon experience directly through the surveillance work and from other researchers on the team.

How I first encountered O[yes] is through my position with OR-FACE as well. As a young worker myself, I wanted to learn about what the coalition has been focusing on, as well as the different ongoing projects working to acknowledge and bring solutions to young workers’ concerns about safety and health. The opportunity to join an O[yes] meeting has allowed me to hear student workers’ concerns, especially in regard to their circumstances affected by the pandemic, as well as how O[yes] plans to address those concerns.

Through my position within the OR-FACE team, I hope to contribute to the work of improving the safety and health of workers, especially for those who may lack the necessary resources to keep themselves safe. I am excited to continue learning more about the work of the O[yes] coalition and hopefully be able to take part in improving the safety and lives of young workers across Oregon.

Learn more about the research and work produced by the OR-FACE team.

Contact O[yes] to learn more about other young worker safety initiatives.

Submitted by Yewon Na, Student Worker, OR-FACE Program, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences 
Willamette University ’22
Environmental Science & Public Health Major