Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Program PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce (SSRW) Program collaborates with partners and stakeholders to prepare people for safe and healthy work before they join the U.S. workforce for the first time or start a new job. The SSRW Program develops, delivers, and evaluates programs that build essential workplace safety and health knowledge and skills needed to benefit from and contribute to safe, healthy, and productive workplaces.

What do we do?
  • Create, maintain, and evaluate workplace safety and health curricula, including Youth@Work—Talking Safety, and advise stakeholders on their use.
  • Investigate and integrate into a variety of community settings foundational workplace safety and health knowledge and skills needed by young and contingent or temporary workers (people who do not expect their jobs to last or who work in temporary jobs) and other groups disproportionately affected by workplace injuries and illnesses.
  • Conduct translational research to better understand how organizations adopt, adapt, and integrate workplace safety and health knowledge and skills into their programs and activities.
  • Disseminate research findings to diverse stakeholders in industry, labor, government, academia, education, and community groups.
What have we accomplished?
  • Contributed to multiple CDC/NIOSH COVID-19 response research and outreach activities related to protecting K–12 teachers and staff and temporary workers during the pandemic.
  • Published, with research collaborators across NIOSH, an MMWR (CDC Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report) on young worker injuries in the United States.
  • Developed and completed external review of Safety Skills at Work, a new foundational workplace safety and health curriculum tailored for contingent
  • workers seeking employment and job training opportunities through workforce development and alternative staffing organizations. The curriculum includes new modules on stress and temporary worker safety and health.
  • Created an update to Talking Safety that (1) reflects lessons learned from ongoing evaluation research, (2) repackages lessons in a more user-friendly format, and (3) provides crosswalks with common health and educational standards used by school districts.
What’s next?
  • Partner with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Training Institute to develop a new OSHA 10-hour, in-person course (general industry) tailored for high-school students in career technical education classes. This new course will include the core competencies from the Talking Safety curriculum.
  • Begin a pilot study to test the efficacy of the new Safety Skills at Work curriculum to promote foundational workplace safety and health knowledge,
  • attitudes, and behavioral intentions among contingent workers seeking employment and job training opportunities through a workforce development one-stop career center.
  • Finalize and publish the updated Talking Safety curriculum.
  • Publish results from ongoing intervention and translational research in peer-reviewed journals.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At-A-Glance

The Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Program aims to prepare people, before they join the U.S. workforce for the first time or start a new job, with foundational workplace safety and health knowledge and skills to help protect them on the job now and throughout their lives. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work.

Downloads of state-specific editions of NIOSH Talking Safety curriculum 2015–2020
U.S. Map of downloads of Talking Safety

Source: NIOSH program records

Rate (per 10,000 FTE) of emergency department treated occupational injuries by age group, 2012–2018
Plot graph for rate of emergency dept. treatment

Source: Guerin, et al. (2020). MMWR 69(35):1204–1209

Injury Rates (per 10,000 FTE) for Temporary and Permanent Workers, 2001–2013, Ohio
Bar chart for Injury Rates

Source: Al-Tarawneh et al. [2019]. Am J Ind Med. 63:3–22.

To learn more, visit
www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/ssrw
November 2021

Page last reviewed: July 29, 2020