Occupational Health and Safety
Work Safe Work Smart: A Curriculum Targeted to
Adolescent Health and Safety in the Workplace
When the number of hours worked is taken into consideration, teen workers are injured at a higher rate than adult workers. For those less than 18 years of age, work-related fatal injuries are highest in agriculture, retail trade, and construction. The Work Safe Work Smart curriculum was developed by public health professionals in collaboration with Minnesota teachers to explore occupational health and safety issues with high school students in an effort to reduce injury rates of young workers. In Work Safe Work Smart, students use their personal experience of work-related injury to identify workplace hazards, brainstorm ways to protect workers from hazards, and discuss barriers to making safe choices at work. Students also learn the laws governing work for those under the age of 18. The ultimate goal of this curriculum is to reduce work-related injury and illness by intervening with adolescents to develop a safe and healthy approach to their current and future work activities.
Work Safe Work Smart curriculum goals are to:
- Raise student awareness of agricultural and non-agricultural workplace hazards that cause injuries
- Equip students with prevention strategies that will protect
them from injuries or illness in a variety of workplace settings
- Raise student awareness of employer/ee rights in the workplace
- Raise student awareness of the laws and resources available
to help maintain those rights
- Encourage students to be active participants in creating safe and healthy work environments.
Work Safe Work Smart Development and Evaluation
The Work Safe Work Smart curriculum was developed and pilot tested in high schools in three Minnesota counties during 1997-2000. During 2000 - 2004, the Work Safe Work Smart curriculum was evaluated in a large-scale randomized intervention study. Over 4,000 students from 38 Minnesota high schools in 31 counties participated in a study to evaluate the impact of the curriculum on student knowledge, attitudes, and intentions regarding workplace health and safety. The results of this evaluation are summarized at Childhood Agricultural Safety and Health (CASH) Evaluation of a School-based curriculum: "Work Safe Work Smart".
Work Safe Work Smart Availability
The Work Safe Work Smart curriculum (2012 edition) can be downloaded from this page and printed without charge or permission for educational use.