Corporate safety intern Alec Jackson has had a productive internship this summer at Prairie State.
This has been her third internship in her short career. Jackson said this has been her favorite and most hands-on internship yet.
“This has been a lot of fun. I wanted this internship to give me an experience where I got to get my hands dirty,” She said. “I really love the culture at the plant and the mine. I love the workforce that we have. Everyone is really helpful and willing to answer my questions.”
Jackson has had two main projects this summer. The first, was to create an emergency action plan (EAP) for the corporate office. Her work on the EAP will help create a plan of action for each department within corporate to deal with an emergency of any scale at the Prairie State Energy Campus. In order to put her plan together, Jackson sat down with each department head to relate their everyday responsibilities to their role in an event of an emergency.
Her second project involved working at the plant’s stack to make ascending the 700-foot tall structure a safer and simpler task for PSGC’s employees. The way that employees currently get to the top of the stack is by a single ladder. If an employee were to fall or their safety harness were to fail, it could cause a potentially life threatening fall. Jackson is working to come up with ways to prevent injuries by making policy and installation suggestions regarding the stack. Some of the policies Jackson has recommended is introducing a buddy system since it is unsafe to work alone at heights.
She has also recommended requiring a second mode of communication between the control room and personnel working in the stack. This potential policy would eliminate a communications breakdown in the event a radio or cell phone is not working properly.
Additionally, she’s been working to make exiting the stack at the top a safer process. At the top, there is nothing for a person to hook on to keep them from falling. Jackson has recommended adding a guard rail to the top of the stack to give people something to anchor themselves to as well as prevent people from falling down the open hatch by mistake.
Jackson’s work at the stack has been her favorite part of her experience with Prairie State this summer. She said that going to the top of the stack was a lot of fun and she is proud that her work will make PSGC’s employees safer for years to come.
After Jackson’s internship ends she will return to Murray State University to continue working towards her master’s degree in occupational safety and health.