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Welcome to the Health and Safety Awareness for Working Teens (HSAWT) resource website for Washington State. This site was designed to help prevent Washington's young workers from being injured, harassed, or killed on the job by providing information and educational resources for them, their parents, educators and employers.
This site covers basic information every young worker needs to know before he or she begins working, with workplace health and safety curricula and videos developed specifically for teens and young workers. By using our materials in a classroom setting or through independent study, teens can learn information about: workplace hazards, child labor laws and worker rights, injury prevention strategies, workplace communication skills, ergonomics, and sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The laws reviewed on this site are specific to Washington State, with additional resources provided to learn more about federal programs.
Cuts, sprains and strains most common teen work injuries - training and supervision key to prevention
(newsrelease: June 20, 2017, WA Dept. of Labor & Industries)
Program Mission and Goals
The Health and Safety Awareness for Working Teens (HSAWT) program is designed to help teens entering the workforce develop an awareness of workplace health and safety issues. This has been primarily done through a set of curriculum materials designed for Washington State educators to use in their middle school, high school and vocational education classes. Through these curricula, teens are exposed to information and activities that introduce concepts such as workplace hazards, labor laws and worker rights, conflict resolution and sexual harassment. While the curriculum materials are directed towards teachers of teens, we hope that teens, parents and employers will find valuable information here as well.
Why This is Important
Teen workers are a vulnerable population with special needs, including different learning styles. In addition, when a teen is injured on the job, the productivity of the business is negatively impacted. Research shows that injuries to workers under the age of 18 occur at a rate double that for adults. The approach of the HSAWT program is to reach students before they enter the workforce with safety promotion and injury prevention strategies. It is advantageous for an employer to hire a teen worker who has previously been exposed to workplace safety concepts. An employer can build on this foundational knowledge with safety training that is specific and targeted to their industry.
The primary goals of the program are:
- To develop and provide Washington State educators with workplace health and safety curriculum materials and training that are based on the current best practices.
- To help support Washington State teachers meet state standards for students participating in work-based learning programs (e.g. internships, job-shadowing, and service learning).
- To determine the effectiveness of curriculum materials at changing teen attitudes and increasing student knowledge.
Curriculum Materials Available Here on this Site:
- NIOSH "Talking Safety": A General Employment Health & Safety Awareness for Working Teens/Washington State edition
- supplemental sections on Ergonomics and Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace
- Agriculture Employment Health & Safety Awareness for Working Teens
- "OSHA's 11": the OSHA 10-Hour Safety Program, adapted for teens
- Culinary Arts Health and Safety
- Woodshop Health and Safety E-Learning Module
Get Started with OSHA's Young Worker Video - a great introduction!
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