Online Program

Young worker occupational surveillance in the United States: Opportunities and challenges

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:46 p.m. - 1:02 p.m.

Manuel A. Ocasio, MSPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Lora E. Fleming, MD PhD, European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro, United Kingdom
William G. LeBlanc, PhD, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Sharon L. Christ, PhD, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, PhD, DO, MPH, CPH, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Kristopher L. Arheart, Ed.D., Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Julie Hollenbeck, PhD, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, United Kingdom
David J. Lee, PhD, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
John Sestito, JD MS, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies (DSHEFS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH
Background: Young workers (≤24 years) are a large relatively unstudied population in the US. Most research focuses primarily on acute injuries, with limited research suggesting that employment as a youth may yield other benefits and risks in the long-term. Utilizing existing nationally-representative data, we examined multiple aspects of young worker health and future impacts of youth employment. Methods: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we have used analytic approaches ranging from descriptive statistics to advanced modeling techniques, including Structural Equation Modeling ( Young workers were examined by age, occupational and industry sector groupings and a range of health and psychosocial outcomes. Results: A series of manuscripts and a monograph on young workers have been produced based on these publicly-available data. We highlight relevant findings and the challenges of utilizing these data. Opportunities for linkages with the National Death Index and O*Net to create enriched datasets to look at mortality and occupational exposures are explored. Conclusions: There are many available datasets that can be used to study young worker health. However, each source comes with important limitations. In particular, most data sources are based on general purpose surveys that lack detailed information on work environment and occupation-specific exposures. Possible designs for a targeted nationally-representative study of young workers are proposed.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain the limitations of the current research base on the risks and benefits of youth employment. Describe the range of nationally representative databases available for the study of youth employment, both acute and long term impacts on health and other related issues, and their limitations. Discuss design alternatives for a targeted nationally representative study of youth workers.

Keyword(s): Occupational Surveillance, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I am project manager for an NIH funded R01 on occupational surveillance.
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.