“I knew the name of everyone in my town,” says Megan Sandy, LHSFNA’s new Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, a coal miner’s granddaughter from Barrackville (WV) who went to Fairmont State College to study civil engineering.
“It was a small mining town. Many families had lost someone in a mine explosion. Both my grandfathers had black lung, and one had lost his arm in a mine accident.” At Fairmont, in her first safety engineering class, she realized there was a field devoted to the protection of workers.
Sandy changed her studies to safety engineering and eventually earned a Masters Degree in Industrial Hygiene from the West Virginia University in Morgantown.
In her first job, at NIOSH as a physical science technician, she and a team of researchers studied the effects of jet fuel on workers and, later, how respiratory filters degrade under various chemical impacts. Subsequently, she served as the Environmental Safety and Health Manager for a chemical plant in Ft. Lauderdale (FL), responsible for safety programs, training, record keeping and the installation of a new ventilation system.
Later, at Disney World in Orlando, she served as the Safety Manager at the Animal Kingdom Park. “That was fun,” she says with a smile. “A lot of the safety issues were ergonomic – material handling or moving large animals around. Also, we had to manage the risk of disease spreading from animals to their handlers.”
Megan joins a very dedicated Occupational Safety and Health Division staff to help develop safety programs, train safety personnel, conduct site visits, consult with contractors and advance the fund’s regulatory agenda. Outside work, she enjoys golf, fly fishing and the company of her two dogs.