Friday, July 10, 2015

Teens in Florida, Oklahoma to Receive Safety Training

Oklahoma has enacted State Senate Bill 262, which requires school districts in the state to provide training on workplace safety and health to students in grades 7 through 12. The Oklahoma State Department of Education will now work with the state Labor Department to make information regarding workplace safety training available to school districts.

The materials will be based on NIOSH's Youth@Work Talking Safety curriculum. The curriculum includes NIOSH's Core Competencies--eight areas of foundational knowledge, skills and abilities that individuals need to gain before entering the labor force. Key among these knowledge domains are the ability to understand work-related risks; recognize and control hazards; recognize rights and responsibilities on the job; and communicate effectively when experiencing a job-related problem. "Research indicates that schools are one particularly effective locus for the delivery of vital workplace safety and health skills," says NIOSH Director John Howard.

The law follows on the heels of the recent agreement between NIOSH and Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) to train the school system's eighth-grade science teachers on use of the Talking Safety curriculum. M-DCPS science teachers and their students (approximately 3,000 each year) will evaluate the new curriculum, and NIOSH researchers will also work with M-DCPS science, technology, engineering, and mathematics administrators to build a sustainable model for teaching foundational workplace safety and health skills. NIOSH reports that M-DCPS has already incorporated safe and healthy work skills into its eighth-grade science curriculum, which will reach by nearly 17,000 teens each year. You can read more about this partnership here.