Legislation State programs

Oklahoma law requires student safety training

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Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Oklahoma City – Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) recently signed a bill that requires the state’s school districts to offer training to students on workplace safety and health.

The legislation affects students in grades seven through 12. The Oklahoma State Department of Labor and the Oklahoma State Department of Education will team up on the initiative, which is based on a curriculum plan from NIOSH.

The “Talking Safety” curriculum includes personal stories about teen workers as well as statistics that highlight the need for young worker safety. According to the curriculum:

  • About 1.6 million people ages 15 to 17 are employed.
  • Every year, an average of 59,800 workers younger than 18 visit the emergency department because of work-related injuries.
  • Every year, work-related fatalities claim the lives of 37 workers younger than 18.

NIOSH Director John Howard praised Oklahoma’s efforts in a May 2015 column. He said the free curriculum is customized for all states.

“Talking Safety is a fun and easy tool for teachers to use in preparing their students for a lifetime of safe and healthy work,” Howard wrote.