FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

IR # 96-17
Thursday, May 30, 1996

CONTACT:
Christine Baker
(415) 557-1304

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.

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