IR #00-16
Thursday, November 2, 2000

Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050

DIR Resource Network To Enhance Young Worker Health and Safety

SAN FRANCISCO --Young workers will receive expanded educational services and other resources to improve their workplace safety and health because of legislation recently signed by Gov. Gray Davis.

The legislation, A.B. 1599, authored by Assemblymember Tom Torlakson, establishes a resource network at the University of California, Berkeley, to increase the ability of young workers and their communities statewide to identify and address workplace hazards to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. The resource network will augment existing outreach and education efforts and provide technical assistance, educational materials and other support to schools, job training programs, employers and other organizations working to educate pupils and their communities about workplace health and safety and child labor law.

Studies suggest that teen job injury rates are higher than those of adults, although teens are prohibited from working in the most hazardous occupations.

"This network creates a statewide focus on preventing teen injuries in the workplace and emphasizes this administration's commitment to improving workplace safety and health," said Stephen J. Smith, director of the California Department of Industrial Relations.

The resource network was originally proposed by the California Study Group on Young Worker Health and Safety, a statewide task force promoting public awareness of job safety for youth, which was established and funded by the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation. The Study Group brings together key representatives from government agencies and statewide organizations involved with California youth employment and education issues to reduce work-related injuries and illnesses, foster awareness and skills in safety and health, and promote positive, healthy employment for youth.

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