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YOUNG WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH

Current NIOSH Intramural Research on Young Workers

teen waitress NIOSH has played a lead role in efforts to reduce injuries and illnesses among young workers, with an emphasis on workers less than 18 years of age and the agricultural sector. NIOSH has conducted and supported surveillance, risk factor, and intervention evaluation research. NIOSH has disseminated research findings and worked with others in collaborative outreach.

Dissemination and Integration of OSH to Young Workers
The goal of this project is to maintain, improve, and promote “Talking Safety,” the NIOSH curriculum for young workers. The major output each year is the updated curriculum, which is customized for each of the 50 states to reflect both federal and state child labor laws. Additional outputs include conference presentations, training workshops, and articles in trade and teacher magazines. The desired outcome of this effort is adoption of the curriculum by high schools so that the skills inherent in the curriculum are taught as life skills needed for youth to become productive, safe workers.

Project Contact: Devin Baker
Education and Information Division

National Children’s Center for Rural Agricultural Health and Safety
The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety strives to enhance the safety and health of all children exposed to hazards associated with agricultural work and rural environments, through national leadership, development of guidelines where empirical evidence does not exist or regulations do not apply, through formal and informal partnerships with relevant stakeholder groups, and via outreach communications to the agricultural community. NCCRAHS interacts with all regional NIOSH Agricultural Centers and leads efforts to coordinate activities of childhood agricultural safety advocates across the U.S.

Project Contact: Steve Dearwent
Office of Extramural Programs

TEAM: Safe, Skilled Ready Workforce: Research and Implementation Recommendations
The purpose of this project is to conduct research and outreach activities to support the NIOSH Safe-Skilled-Ready Workforce (SSRW) program. The SSRW program targets the delivery of eight, transferable, work-readiness competencies to young workers and to new hires before they enter the workforce or start a new job. These foundational skills form the basis for and complement job-specific knowledge and skill curricula already being taught through apprenticeship and other vocational and career technical training programs. They include the ability to: Recognize that, while work has benefits, all workers can be injured, become sick, or even be killed on the job. Workers need to know how workplace risks can affect their lives and their families; Recognize that work-related injuries and illnesses are predictable and can be prevented; Identify hazards at work and predict how workers can be injured or made sick; Recognize how to prevent injury and illness. Describe the best ways to address workplace hazards and apply these concepts to specific workplace problems; Identify emergencies at work and decide on the best ways to address them; Recognize employer and worker rights and responsibilities that play a role in safe and healthy work; Find resources that help keep workers safe and healthy on the job; Demonstrate how workers can communicate with others—including people in authority roles—to ask questions or report problems or concerns when they feel unsafe or threatened.

Project Contact: Rebecca Guerin
Education and Information Division

Preparing the Emerging Workforce in Oklahoma with Foundational Skills for Safe and Health Work
The main goals of the proposed project are: to systematically integrate foundational workplace safety and health skills into 8th and 9th grade classrooms in Oklahoma County Public Schools, using the NIOSH Talking Safety curriculum.

To institutionalize a process, (i.e., develop a sustainable, transferable model) for integrating Talking Safety and the NIOSH 8 Core Competencies into middle schools and high schools in OK that can be taken to scale in other school districts in OK and elsewhere in the US.

Project Contact: Rebecca Guerin
Education and Information Division

Safe • Skilled • Ready Workforce Initiative Program
This program seeks to prepare all current and future workers for safe and healthy work. In the past, work risks have been considered separately from the risks of daily life. Because most adults spend more than a third of their waking hours at work, the on-the-job hazards they face have a great effect on their overall well-being. Problems at work can lead to risks in personal and community life, and conditions that affect people at home—stress, obesity, heart disease, depression, and others—spill over into work hours. This raises health-care costs, causes higher turnover, lowers productivity, and forces people miss work more often.

Through the Safe-Skilled-Ready Workforce program, NIOSH can find further ways to bridge the gap between work risks and the risks of daily life.

Project Contact: Rebecca Guerin
Education and Information Division

Building a Model for Integrating Workplace Safety and Health Skills in Miami-Dade Public Schools
The main goals of the proposed project are: to systematically integrate foundational workplace safety and health skills—e.g., the NIOSH Eight Core Competencies—into existing programs (focusing on the most accessible and appropriate options) in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), Florida, the fourth largest school district in the United States (in terms of student enrollment); and to institutionalize a process—i.e., develop a sustainable and transferable model—for integrating the Core Competencies in middle schools and high schools in M-DCPS that may then be adapted to other school districts across the United States.

Project Contact: Rebecca Guerin
Education and Information Division

021H: Understanding Workplace Violence among Young Workers in the US
The purpose of this project is to develop the first national profile of workplace violence among workers ages 15-24 with the long term goal of reducing workplace violence incidence and its negative effects on young workers.

Project Contact: Sharon Chiou
Office of Extramural Programs

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