Online Program

Overview of issues impacting youth employment and workplace safety

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:46 p.m.

Diane Bush, MPH, Labor Occupational Health Program, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Mary E. Miller, MN, RN, Employment Standards Program, Washington State Dept of Labor and Industries, Olympia, WA
Employment opportunities for youth and the impact of workplace hazards are inextricably linked. National data indicates a significant decline in employment among youth aged 16 to 24 over the past ten years – especially in recent years due to the economic downturn. In Washington State, the employment rate for youth is at an historic low. Yet data continues to demonstrate high rates of injury among the country's youngest workers, highest for youth age 19-24. Youth new to the world of work must often access the lowest skilled jobs, often with multiple hazards and minimal training. Changing jobs more often, they encounter new job risks repeatedly and frequently. Diminished job prospects may lead youth to take any job, regardless of hazards, and make them less likely to speak up about these hazards or the need for training. Since the mid-1980's, attention has focused on the impact of workplace hazards on the health of employed youth under age 18. Injury prevention strategies have included efforts to strengthen regulatory protections under child labor rules and to improve health and safety education, through curriculum development and efforts to institutionalize health and safety preparation. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other advocates have expanded the definition of young workers to include young adults up to age 24. Researchers and advocates continue to develop guidance regarding research, education and enforcement needs. This presentation will provide an overview of national trends, and describe a proposed national agenda to address young worker health and safety.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the historical background of the efforts to protect young workers. Describe national trends affecting youth employment and risks for occupational injury. Explain (discuss) the need for a national agenda to protect young workers.

Keyword(s): Youth at Work, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract presenter on the content because this is my professional field of work and expertise. I am involved in policy, outreach and education for young workers, program planning and publications.
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.