Occupational health literacy and work-related injury among U.S. adolescents

Building on the concept of 'health literacy' used in the U.S., we developed an analogous measure specific to safety in the workplace labeled 'occupational health literacy' (OHL) and investigated whether OHL is a protective factor against work-related injury (WRI) among adolescents. Using cross-sectional survey data from 2262 14 to 18-year olds in five high schools across the US, we found that OHL (level of occupational safety and health (OSH) information and training received combined with knowledge and awareness of OSH information and concepts) is positively associated with WRI prevalence. This association appears to be largely driven by the OHL subscale on respondents' receipt of safety training, which likely represents job hazardousness and may be overwhelming any protective effect of OHL on work injury. This exploratory study has shown that more precise measurement of OHL and confounding variables (job hazardousness) will be crucial in further studies exploring a OHL-WRI relationship.

Source: Rauscher KJ, Myers DJ. Int. J. Inj. Control Safe. Promot. 2014; 21(1): 81-89.

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