FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR # 96-17
Thursday, May 30, 1996
Commission Contracts for A Video and Discussion Guide on Workplace
Health and Safety for Adolescent Workers
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Commission on Health and Safety and
Workers' Compensation voted unanimously to contract with UCLA Labor Occupational
Safety and Health (LOSH) Program for development of a video and discussion
guide on workplace health and safety aimed at adolescent workers.
In California in 1991, work-related injuries or illnesses were experienced
by 2,104 workers under age 18 and 65,552 workers ages 18 to 24. These are
underestimates since these figures reflect only those who lost at least
one whole day of work and whose employers reported such injuries or illnesses.
That same year, 12 California workers under the age of 20 were reported
to have died from occupational causes. In California young workers are covered
by the general Cal-OSHA requirement that each workplace have an Injury and
Illness Prevention Program which includes health and safety training for
all employees. In a study recently conducted by the University of California
at Berkeley, researchers found that few teenagers had received any information
or training about job safety at work or school. None were aware of any Injury
and Illness Prevention Program at work. In general, students demonstrated
a very limited understanding of the range of potential hazards in the workplace,
and they had no knowledge of Cal-OSHA or where to turn if faced with a workplace
health and safety problem.
UCLA-LOSH with funding from the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers'
Compensation will develop a 10-15 minute video and discussion guide that
can be used in the classroom to educate students how to identify health
and safety hazards on their jobs and to understand their workplace rights
and responsibilities under Cal-OSHA and California's child labor laws. Students
and teachers will be involved in all aspects of the video project, working
with a professional video producer to design, produce and evaluate the video.
The video will be accompanied by a discussion guide and will be used by
ninth grade teachers in their Education and Career Planning and Integrated
Social Studies classes which all ninth graders must take. It will also be
used in classes such a social studies, english, health, history and vocational
education. The video and guide will be distributed at no cost to all 49
high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The video and accompanying
discussion guide will be made available to other school districts upon request.
The Commission, created by the workers' compensation reform legislation
of 1993, is charged with overseeing the health and safety and workers' compensation
systems in California and recommending administrative or legislative modifications
to improve their operation. The Commission was established to conduct a
continuing examination of the workers' compensation system and of the state's
activities to prevent industrial injuries and occupational diseases and
to examine those programs in other states.
Further information about the Commission and its activities may be obtained
by writing to Christine Baker, Executive Officer, Commission on Health and
Safety and Workers' Compensation, 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 2122, San Francisco,
California 94102, by calling (415) 557-1304, or by faxing a request to (415)
557-1385. Information is also available through the Department of Industrial
Relations' Internet servers' Commission on Health and Safety and Workers'
Compensation home page. The address is www.dir.ca.gov.