Risk Management Exercise & Practice Lab
This course includes a Practice Lab where students have the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills acquired in the course and apply them to a practical public health problem similar to what might be found in the real world. The Practice Lab is one of a continuing series of problem or scenario-based activities in the MPH program aimed at providing students with applied practice experience. These practice activities, which are guided by MPH competencies, progressively prepare students for the second-year practicum process, provide opportunities to apply track-specific coursework, and help ensure that MPH graduates are well equipped for the real world of public health practice when they assume positions as public health professionals.
In this course, the Practice Lab assignment focuses on the challenge of a risk management exercise.
Students are faced with the following scenario:
Scenario: A mid-size city in the Southeast (approximate population 744,000) has several major chemical production facility employers located within 10 miles of the city center. Each facility employs approximately 6,500 workers. One of the chemical producers makes toxic carbamate pesticides using intermediates such as highly toxic Methyl isocyanate (MIC; e.g. Bophal India catastrophe). The production process for carbamates is very complex and requires careful oversight and monitoring. This facility uses and stores very large quantities MIC such that they keep approximately 1 full year’s supply in their inventory. Part of the production process involves high temperatures and can produce explosive and flammable gases if not carefully monitored and controlled. The process also produces still bottoms and sludge that also must be discharged and disposed. The raw materials and end products are also shipped into and out of the production facility via rail car. The rail lines used carry passenger and cargo trains throughout the day and are within 5 miles of the downtown area. This facility has public health, occupational health, and ecological health hazards that must be managed.
In a maximum of 5 pages, please detail how you would suggest managing the risks associated with this scenario. In particular, list your risk management recommendations in order of priority with a bulleted list summarizing them in the first part of your paper. Then, in the second part of your paper provide details on “how” you would implement your recommendation and justification for each recommendation. Please be specific, for example, “evacuate population within 30 Km” is a specific recommendation, while something like “be culturally sensitive in some way for any action we might take” is not specific. You will be penalized in your grade for non-specific recommendations that are not actionable items.
**Please note: Do not spend any significant amount of effort in your paper giving background or general information about the scenario. This is a risk management exercise, i.e. “what are you going to do about the risks?”.
You can use the EPA Risk Characterization Handbook.