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Foundational workplace safety and health competencies for the emerging workforce☆

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Safety Res
    • Description:
      Introduction Young workers (aged 15–24) suffer disproportionately from workplace injuries, with a nonfatal injury rate estimated to be two times higher than among workers age 25 or over. These workers make up approximately 9% of the U.S. workforce and studies have shown that nearly 80% of high school students work at some point during high school. Although young worker injuries are a pressing public health problem, the critical knowledge and skills needed to prepare youth for safe and healthy work are missing from most frameworks used to prepare the emerging U.S. workforce. Methods A framework of foundational workplace safety and health knowledge and skills (the NIOSH 8 Core Competencies)was developed based on the Health Belief Model (HBM). Results The proposed NIOSH Core Competencies utilize the HBM to provide a framework for foundational workplace safety and health knowledge and skills. An examination of how these competencies and the HBM apply to actions that workers take to protect themselves is provided. The social and physical environments that influence these actions are also discussed. Conclusions The NIOSH 8 Core Competencies, grounded in one of the most widely used health behavior theories, fill a critical gap in preparing the emerging U.S. workforce to be cognizant of workplace risks. Practical applications Integration of the NIOSH 8 Core Competencies into school curricula is one way to ensure that every young person has the foundational workplace safety and health knowledge and skills to participate in, and benefit from, safe and healthy work. National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • Source:
      J Safety Res. 59:43-51.
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