Image Credit: Brianna Stirton
Image Credit: Brianna Stirton

BASF Agricultural Specialties and Saskatchewan Polytechnic collaborate on Occupational Health and Safety internship

In September BASF accepted their first Saskatchewan Polytechnic Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) student intern, Brianna Stirton. During this six month internship, Stirton is working directly for the BASF Site Environmental, Health and Safety specialist in a full-time, paid coordinator role. All Sask Polytech OHS students were made aware of this opportunity and encouraged to apply for the BASF student internship.

“At BASF, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, suppliers, customers and communities. We want to help develop the future safety leaders of Canada through programs such as Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s OHS internship,” said Jonathan Sherman, EHS specialist, BASF Canada. “We also benefit from new talent to contribute to enhancing safety procedures and culture.”

Stirton has been busy helping with area sound monitoring, reviewing confined space legislation, performing monthly in-field work permit audits, among other tasks. She will be attending the Industrial Safety Seminar in Regina in February 2019 with BASF. This seminar is a great professional development opportunity and features speakers from Saskatchewan, Canada and the United States.

“This is an exciting hands-on learning opportunity for OHS program students,” says Nolan Horbach, Occupational Health and Safety program head. “The opportunity to work with BASF professionals during this six month internship will be an invaluable experience. The training and skills Brianna will develop at BASF will help her gain work experience towards the next step of her career as an OHS professional.”

Nearly 75 per cent of Sask Polytech programs offer a work-integrated learning component. Work-integrated learning gives students the opportunity to apply the practical skills they learn at Sask Polytech in a work environment and bring work-place skills back to the classroom.

“When the opportunity arose to work alongside of BASF’s Site Environmental Health and Safety Specialist I jumped at it,” says student intern, Brianna Stirton. “So far, I have been submersed into a safety culture that is unlike anything I have ever seen before. This experience has already molded and shaped my approach to the industry. It gives me a clear vision on how to create a lasting impact as a safety professional.”

OHS professionals play an important role within many organizations, helping to make our workplaces and communities a safer place to live, work and play. Sask Polytech’s Occupational Health and Safety certificate plays an integral role in developing and supporting prospective and current OHS professionals meet a goal of zero workplace injuries and fatalities across the country.

The OHS certificate program includes an 80-hour two-week practicum component and for those already working in industry the program may offer credit based on previous experience through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Occupational Health and Safety certificate program is offered on campus in Saskatoon and through distance education for students across Canada.