Depending on where you decide to start your internship, it is necessary for you to be concerned of your security and safety. Although this may not seem as a pleasant topic to discuss given that you are enthusiastic about the learning and experiences you can acquire during internship, being aware of the work environment along with its hazards is very important. According to human resource managers, there are two types of interns – those who do not perceive risks and therefore not take precautions; and those who worry too much even though there is not a real threat.
Assessing the risk level is crucial
There are several steps of how to manage risks including identifying risks, understanding expectations and guidelines given by employers, considering solutions to potential problems, and informing the college/employer of any concerns should there be any. These risks are important to know about prior to starting your internship because these concern your safety, and if in case you are not sure about these, it would be helpful to ask assistance from your college and employer. Mostly, risks come from the institution itself, the client population and the community.
Client risk levels are concerned with their immediate concerns. It could harm an intern’s personal safety if they do not understand the developmental stage of clients (this involves the time that relationship between the client and employer is known, from the time that the client decides to terminate contract/relationship with the employer). These risks can be avoided by having good background and client profile, which is done mostly during internship orientations.
Community and site risks
Hours of operation and location site are another set of risks. Some facilities are located in risky communities, particularly for someone who does not belong in that community. Although agencies have the liability to assess risks within their neighborhood, it is wise to spend extra time in learning about these risks factors – this is because some placement sites are less attentive to tackle such concerns. At this point, your main level of concern is to determine how well your employer is meeting such safety criteria and guidelines. Thus, if you feel uncomfortable travelling or unsafe with the work environment, consult with your employer or immediate supervisor to ensure that personal safety is addressed properly.
Whether there are real threats or none, it is necessary for student interns to ensure that they assess and understand the risks of the work environment and develop a plan to reduce it. It will also be helpful to seek help whenever necessary. The basic purpose of risk management is to be concerned with the results of any future event that could not be predicted and how to handle such event should they occur.