Safety is the essential link that secures our future.
There can be no more fundamental expression of this core belief than the need to invest resources and engage stakeholders to address safety concerns on behalf of the most vulnerable members of our workforce, those active participants aged 16-24. While current statistics suggest that only 19.3 million workers in 2016 were under the age of 24i, we are compelled to act when we are faced with the following facts:
- in 2015 over 427 workplace related deaths occurred for workers aged 16-24ii
- employees aged 16-19 faced non-fatal injury rates of 110.5 per 10,000 full-time employees (FTE) while ages 20-24 saw 98.3 per 10,000 FTEiii
The broad implications of these numbers combined with devastating statistics of work-related injuries treated in emergency rooms for this same age group compel the BCSP Foundation and like-minded stakeholders to take direct and comprehensive actioniv.
Working hand in hand with industry stakeholders to address the need for increased opportunity for economic advancement through the preservation of trades and access to vocational education as a pathway to financial stability, safety education plays a critical role in securing long-term prosperity. Identifying resources, investing strategically and employing innovation in the delivery of services specifically to address the needs of the defined demographic, 16-24-year-old workers, the Foundation seeks to measurably alter the safety risk associated with participation in the labor market and thereby provide long-term solutions that promote life, health and prosperity for the next generation.
After careful consideration, assessment of need and stakeholder input, the BCSP Foundation has identified three critical priorities for immediate action. In so defining, the Foundation is prepared to address the significant need of the demographic and provide the necessary tools to address and mitigate the potential risks currently presented by participation in the modern economy. In keeping with the recognition that workplace safety is a core component of a socially responsible and sustainable workplace, these priorities will provide a means by which to not only educate the next generation but also, embed safety culture as a way of life for all workers on the job from the first day of employment while underscoring the more expansive value of safety as an essential component of a healthy and prosperous community.
- Develop and deploy a comprehensive safety curriculum to be used in conjunction with:
- general high school health and wellness courses and as a pre-employment program for state and federal level youth employment initiatives.
- vocational institutions and as a core strategy for the advancement of specific trades through apprenticeships.
- Direct investment in innovative research and design that positively impact the active participation of youth in the workforce.
- Outreach and awareness campaign designed to engage youth, parents and employers regarding specific risk and risk mitigation strategies as defined by needs of the 16-24 demographic.
iNIOSH (2017). Analysis of the Current Population Survey. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Unpublished.
ii Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017). Table A-8. Fatal occupational injuries by event of exposure and age. All United States. 2015 (http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshcfoi.1.htm#2015).
iii Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016). Nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work. 2015 (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf)
iv NIOSH (2017). The Work-Related Injury Statistics Query System (Work-RISOS). (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/wisards/workrisgs/).