My Story: Leah Rumore
It was near the end of my senior year in 2004 at the University of Connecticut. At the time, I had been volunteering for the Department of Psychological Sciences’ graduate program. I was running a lab and gathering data for a study on human performance in the workplace. At the beginning of that year, I was on the path to be a mental health therapist. I had always found myself having concern for others and a need to help them. But after taking human performance and ergonomics as part of my curriculum that year, I discovered how I wanted to help people.
I was fascinated by this research. I realized that I wanted to help people work safely, especially knowing that both of my parents had cumulative trauma disorders at the time. I was curious as to how those types of injuries could have happened to them. I thought to myself, “Their work wasn’t that physically taxing.” What I learned from the course was information that could help my parents and so many people in the workplace. All they need is some education and awareness. I could be that person to teach them along the way.
During my volunteer work, I asked the dean of the program, “How do I find a career in ergonomics? Is this actually a real job?” “Of course,” he said and handed me a business card from the person who runs the health and safety internship program at Pratt & Whitney (an aerospace company based in East Hartford, CT). I interviewed, and within a month I was hired. The rest is history.
I led the ergonomics program, working with employees across the nation, in Singapore and in New Zealand. As I developed my career at Pratt & Whitney as a health and safety professional, many opportunities came available for me to learn and implement, such as program management of confined spaces, lockout/tagout and subcontractor safety.
Currently, I’m working in the construction industry helping people safely build bridges and railways in the Northeast. I have worked along Interstate 95 in Connecticut on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven and the West River Bridge in West Haven. I also have worked with Amtrak on Connecticut’s new commuter line from New Haven to Hartford, and many other projects. Thank you to those who taught me along the way. Your knowledge and experience is invaluable.
Leah Rumore, CSP
New Haven, CT