Promoting Young Worker Health and Safety Through Outreach to Clinicians

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Adolescents are at high risk for work-related injury and illness due to their employment in high hazard industries, their inexperience, lack of training, and fear of speaking up.  One important avenue for reaching young workers is through their health care providers. Reaching out to clinicians is challenging because providers do not tend to think of their teen patients as workers. In limited time available, they focus more exclusively on more commonly recognized risk factors such as drugs, sexual activity, bicycle safety, etc.  Questions about work are rarely included in standard intake questionnaires, in spite of the fact that over 150,000 teens are injured on the job each year.

In 2010, LOHP received funding from NIOSH’s Retail Trade Sector to develop materials for adolescent health care providers which provide resources and guidance for talking about work issues with their teen patients and explore new avenues for disseminating resources to the primary care community.  Project activities included:

  • Needs assessment with clinicians, clinic coordinators, health educators and teens to identify barriers, current practices and needed materials as well as systems and strategies for effective dissemination including  integrating occupational health information into clinical practices;
  • Development and pilot testing of a tool kit providing resources and guidance for talking about these issues with patients;
  • Outreach to primary care facilities to disseminate resources and materials.

TOOL KIT MATERIALS

Through this project, the following materials were developed that could be distributed in waiting rooms and clinical encounters in primary care settings and school-based clinics.

  • Provider Tip Sheet:Talking to your Teen Patients about Work.This factsheet is designed to help and encourage providers to have a conversation with their patients about work.  It includes sample questions to ask as well as resources for more information.
  • Tips for Parents of Working Teens.(available in English and Spanish) This piece offers guidance on steps parents can take to support their working teen and ensure that they stay safe on the job.
  • Are you a Working Teen? (Available in English and Spanish) This factsheet offers teen workers information on their basic rights at work and strategies for addressing issues that arise.
  • Safe Jobs for Youth Posters. These posters are designed by teens as part of LOHP’s Safe Jobs for Youth Month activities. Theses poster can be made available for posting in  clinic waiting rooms and exam rooms.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on this project, contact:

Laura Stock
lstock@berkeley.edu