230314 Injuries among high school teens enrolled in work-based learning programs and the effect of multiple jobs on injury occurrence

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kristina Zierold, PhD, MS , Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Savi Appana, MS , Department of Biostatistics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Henry Anderson, MD , Division of Public Health, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Madison, WI
BACKGROUND: In the US, 71% of public high schools offer work-based learning programs for academic credit. These programs were developed from the 1994 School-To-Work Opportunities Act to support high school youth in transitioning from school to career-focused work. While the programs provide excellent opportunities for the development of a skilled workforce, no information exists on the injuries that students sustain while in these programs.

METHODS: A questionnaire was administered to 8,085 high school students in multiple school districts throughout Wisconsin. In total, 6,810 students responded to the survey (84% response rate).

RESULTS: There were 454 students (7%) enrolled in work-based learning programs; 250 were employed only in the school-based program and 204 were employed in multiple jobs. Overall, 20% of students were injured and 35% were severely injured, which was defined as sustaining an injury that affected activities for more than three days. However, students who worked multiple jobs were significantly more likely to be injured compared with students who were only employed in their work-based learning program job (26% vs. 14%, p=0.003). Injury type and characteristics were similar, however students who worked multiple jobs were more likely to report performing dangerous tasks, working late, and having near miss incidents at work.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to evaluate the occurrence of injury among students enrolled in school-based learning programs. Since students who are working multiple jobs are twice as likely to be injured, school-based efforts to ensure that labor laws are being followed is necessary to prevent injury.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the injuries teens in work-based learning programs sustain. 2. Compare the differences in injuries between teens whose only job is with the work-based learning program and teens who work multiple jobs. 3. Assess the need for monitoring of labor law violations among teens enrolled in work-based learning programs.

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an author on this abstract because I am on the grant and have been working on the project for over a year. I am the main statistician on the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.