Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nervous about job interview

"How would you like to come in for an interview?"

ahhh, the magic words a grad student wants to hear before graduation.

So - I have an interview tomorrow afternoon with Minnesota OSHA.  Like any responsible person, one researches the potential employer.  Sure - I'm already in the business.  Sure - everyone knows what OSHA does, right?  Nevertheless, I did.

Their website is fairly user-friendly.  Detail dense, but with a little looking around, it didn't seem hard to find what I wanted.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to visit many different types of worksites.  Construction, meatpacking, chemical processing, paper mills, etc.  Then, I found the list of 2009 Fatalities and Serious Injury Investigation Summary.  It hit me.  What's the sure-fire guaranteed way to get a compliance inspector at your worksite?

1 - kill one of your employees
2 - injure a bunch all at once
3 - complaint

I never considered doing what compliance inspectors have to do: fatality investigations.  It's horrible enough 1,000 miles away listening to the news about the Big Branch Coal Mine in WV.  Can you imagine being the MSHA compliance officer who has to do the investigation after they open the mine?

I have never encountered a workplace fatality.  I've even managed to make it to this point in life without having many people I know die.  I've only had 2 friends die:  chronic medical problems and power tool accident(or suicide, depending on who you ask).  I've had 3 co-workers die:  motorcycle accident, drug o.d., and cancer(not related to our mutual job).  Suddenly I found an aspect to this job that is rather unsettling.

Of course, I'm nervous about having a job interview.  What questions should I ask them?  Should I ask

How do you cope with doing fatality investigations?
Do you ever run into employers who are verbally abusive when you do an unannounced inspection?
Do you like your job after 5 years?
What's the average time before someone leaves & why do they do it (other than money)?
What's the worst place you've ever had to do an inspection?


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