Speaking Out for Young Workers

Speaking Out for Young Workers

Commentary and news on occupational health and safety for young workers.

 

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We want you!

We are in search of a creative and innovative Georgia Tech student to work with us on developing some of our training into online modules and games. If you are interested, please see the position detail below.  Here is a link to CareerBuzz where the job is posted: http://www.career.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=241.  If you are a student, you will need to enter through the Student Portal in order to apply. 


GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH INSTITUTE - POSITION DETAIL

Student Research Assistant (Occupational Safety & Health- Center for Young Worker Safety and Health) ELSYS 

Contact information: jenny.houlroyd@gtri.gatech.edu

Company Ref:  Occupational Safety & Health 

Professional Areas:  Industrial Engineering, Industrial Hygiene, Public Health, Engineering, Science or related field 

Location: ELSYS 

Job Commitment: Hourly as needed (approximately 10-20 hours per week)

Length of Commitment: Initial assignment would be from January (or hire date) through September 2010. There is a potential extension of the project for up to four years.

Department:  Electronic Systems Laboratory

Description: Seeking to hire a student studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Computational Media (BSCM) or Masters in Digital Media.

In 2009, over 300 people ages 15-24 were killed on the job. Young workers, who make up 14% of the US labor force, are disproportionately represented in dangerous job such as construction, transportation, agriculture, and mining. Young workers are twice as likely to end up in the emergency room when compared to workers 25 and older. This project is intended to reach out to these young workers as they enter the labor force and provide interactive, engaging training resources, which have the potential to not only prevent injuries and illnesses, but to also save lives. The student must be energetic and eager to use their creative capabilities to assist in the development of these training resources designed to protect workers.

Student will assist in the development of training programs to educate young workers for the Center for Young Worker Safety and Health at Georgia Tech.  This will include developing online games to be used as training tools.

Primary tasks include:

  • Conduct an analysis to determine what training is already available
  • Assist in designing and developing the context for converting the live training to online training and games
  • Assist in the developmental process of designing the future stages of the process
  • Assist with data management of course participants and course evaluation survey results

Understanding Why Young Worker Safety and Health Training is so Important

“Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off.” Paul Brodeur

As we develop and create our Center for Young Worker Safety and Health at GTRI, it is easy to get caught up in the statistics and the myriad of reasons why young worker safety and health training is so important. However, it is critical to remind ourselves that behind each statistic, there are human beings, young individuals at the beginning of their lives that are impacted by hazards in the workplace.

We would like to share with you a true story about a construction accident that nearly killed Curtis Zanussi, who was 24 years old at the time.  This video, created by WorkSafeBC, shows how each occupational injury has a far reaching impact in the lives of not only the individual, but the person’s family, friends, and co-workers.  Please take a few minutes out of your day to hear why young worker safety and health training and outreach it is so important all over the globe.


The Curtis Zanussi Story

Information on Curtis Zanussi was used with permission from WorkSafeBC. For more information on the Curtis Zanussi Story, for a discussion guide, or to view other videos produced by WorkSafeBC, please visit their website.

We want to hear your thoughts. Do you have a story you would like to share about an occupational injury or illness you experienced?  How could an accident like this have been prevented? What role do employers and supervision play in preventing injuries and illnesses? Share your comments below.

Say What?

Have you ever gotten in the car in the morning and wondered why you were listing to the music so loudly the day before? Have you ever had trouble hearing or expereienced ringing in your ears after going to a concert or listening to your iPod for a long period of time?

What you are experiencing is damage to your hearing, potentially leading to noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Ever short term exposure to very loud noises, such as those you might experience at a shooting range if you were not wearing hearing protection, can cause permanent hearing loss. 

But how do you know if you need to put in a pair of ear plugs before you head out to mow the lawn, or if you need to turn the volume on your iPod to the left?  The Georgia Local Section of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (GLS-AIHA) wanted to help prevent hearing loss and promote healthy hearing. GLS-AIHA partnered with the Georgia Youth Alliance and the Georgia Tech Research Institute to create “GeRTI,” a mannequin outfitted with a sound level meter. Based on the Dangerous Decibels mannequin Jolene, GeRTI has the ability to show individuals just how loud they are listening to their iPod or other MP3 player when the ear bud from their MP3 player is inserted into GeRTI’s ear.   

GeRTI’s début was at the 2010 Construction Education Foundation of Georgia Career EXPO and State SkillsUSA competition in March 2010. Students passing through the World of Safety and Health had the opportunity to stick their ear buds in GeRTI’s ear to see just how loud they were listening to music and they listened to GLS-AIHA volunteers explain the significance of noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus. Levels were often above 90 decibels and even frequently exceeded 115 dBA.

Since then, “GeRTI” has traveled around the state of Georgia visiting high schools to educate individuals about the importance of healthy hearing. The best part is, we have volunteers who would be happy to escort GeRTI to your school or event to help spread the word. If you would like to schedule a training session, please leave a comment below, or request a visit using the form provided on our Contact Us Page.

If you would like to develop your own Dangerous Decibels mannequin, please check out the “Jolene Cookbook” on the Dangerous Decibels website.

Welcome!

Welcome to our Safety and Health blog for the Center for Young Worker Safety and Health at GTRI! Our vision for this blog is to provide a forum for discussion about important issues related to young workers as they enter the workforce. We weclome stories and discussion, so please feel free to share your thoughts or send along a story you would like to feature.

In 2009, over 300 people ages 15-24 were killed on the job. Young workers are also twice as likely to end up in the emergency room when compared to workers 25 and older. This project is intended to reach out to young workers as they enter the labor force and provide interactive, engaging training resources, which have the potential to not only prevent injuries and illnesses, but to also save lives. We hope that this blog will provide one forum to reach out to not only younger workers, but also their employers, teachers, and parents.

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