4th Annual Historical Perspectives Tour Gives Insight to Workplace Dangers

Students and faculty from six colleges and universities including UMDNJ will travel through 150 years of history and cover more than 1,100 miles by bus to explore the hazards faced by workers in industries that fueled America's industrial dominance during the 20th century.

Beginning 300 feet below the earth's surface and ending at what has been called "one of the most appalling environmental tragedies in American history," the 4th annual Historical Perspectives Tour begins June 7 in Scranton, Pa., and ends on June 11 at Love Canal in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Sponsored by the New York/New Jersey Education and Research Center, the tour will explore sites--including a coal mine, steel plant, chemical factory, auto manufacturing plant, and Love Canal--that are historically significant to environmental and occupational health and safety.

"The tour is unique in that it brings together students from different disciplines – including nursing, medicine, occupational safety and industrial hygiene and ergonomics – to work together to examine issues from different perspectives," said Mitchel Rosen, director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health. "Whether the issue is worker safety in a coal mine or the design of clothing and equipment for use in a chemical plant, the students have to consider not only protection, but functionality and whether or not long-term use could lead to injuries." Rosen is the chief organizer of the annual Historical Perspectives Tour.

This year's tour will include stops at the following locations:

  • June 7: Lackawanna Coal Mine, Scranton, Pa.
  • June 8: Rivers of Steel (Homestead Steel) and the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) Personal Protective Equipment Lab, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • June 9: Ford River Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Mich.
  • June 10: Brush Wellman Beryllium, Toledo, Ohio.
  • June 11: Love Canal, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The 25 students and nine faculty members taking part in the Historical Perspectives Tour are from the UMDNJ-School of Public Health, Hunter College, New York University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Cincinnati.

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