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Occupational & Environmental Medicine Training Program

US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services

APHIS employs approximately 6,800 people in all 50 states as well as internationally.  The organization includes divisions in animal care, biotechnology regulatory services, plant protection & quarantine, veterinary services, wildlife services, and international services.  The mission is the protection of health and value of American agriculture and natural resources. Residents rotate in the Safety, Health, and Employee Wellness Branch.  The branch provides support services in occupational health and safety and wellness to the entire APHIS organization, including workers’ compensation management, industrial hygiene, ergonomics, and safety services, wellness programs, environmental protection, and drug testing.

The goals of this rotation are: 1) to understand how to manage the occupational safety, health, and wellness of a widely distributed, diverse workforce with a broad range of chemical, biological, and physical exposures. For example, protection of inspectors potentially exposed to pesticide residues when entering pre-treated cargo containers off-loaded from ships is a concern for this workforce; 2) to understand and be able to develop medical surveillance programs for workers potentially exposed to new and emerging infectious diseases, as well as classical chemical, physical, and biological exposures; and 3) to effectively manage workers’ compensation and understand the role of the Office of Federal Workers’ Compensation Programs.