Safety Matters Center

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) are proud to present Safety Matters, a program to raise awareness among young people about workplace safety and health and to provide an understanding of the skills they need to become active participants in creating safe and healthy work environments. The materials presented in this module are based on a full curriculum from NIOSH, Talking Safety.

Interested parties can download the free “Safety Matters” presentation by visiting the Safety Matters Center on AIHA’s website or on NIOSH's website. Participants should use the hashtag #SafeTeensatWork and #SafetyMatters when discussing the new program on social media.

Safety Matters is a one-hour interactive teaching module and PowerPoint presentation targeted to students in grades 7 through 12. It can be used by safety professionals to equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to participate in safe and healthy work environments throughout their working lives. Safety Matters presents essential information and career-readiness skills through a focus on 8 Core Competencies , which are transferable, foundational workplace safety and health knowledge, skills and abilities.

Did You Know?

  • Approximately 1.6 million U.S. teens (aged 15–17) work.
  • Every nine minutes, a U.S. teen is injured on the job.
  • On average, each year:
    • 59,800 workers under the age of 18 are sent to the ER for job-related injuries
    • 37 workers under the age of 18 die on the job.
    • Young workers are twice as likely to be injured compared to adult workers.

Want to start a program in your community? View our "How To..." video and our quick course outline to get started.​​

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Paving the Way in Colorado

[L-R: Dr. Steven Lacey; AIHA member Bevin Luna; Colorado State Senator John Kefalas; Mr. Sampson Briggs]

Dr. Lacey recently visited the AIHA Rocky Mountain Section in Colorado to meet with lawmakers, including Colorado State Senator John Kefalas (SD-14, Fort Colllins), regarding young worker health and safety. Mr. Sampson Briggs, a fall survivor, was also present. In the summer after graduating from high school, Sampson was working as a construction helper to earn money before going off to college. In the course of this work, he suffered a 30 foot fall, fracturing his skull and every bone in his face, among other injuries. After a long, remarkable recovery, he is now a sophomore in college and a speaker and advocate for workplace safety.

"The AIHA-NIOSH partnership on Safety Matters aims to help prevent these devastating injuries through workplace health and safety awareness training for young people -- well before they show up to a job site."

"It's an honor to work with the Rocky Mountain Section to help lead a sustained, national policy effort to deliver public health impact," Dr. Lacey said.

​Additional Resources for Teen Safety in the Workplace

The following programs and resources are not part of NIOSH's Safety Matters initiative. However, the information may prove valuable for parents, employers, and teen workers looking for supplemental references regarding teen safety in the workplace.
Health and Safety Awareness Websites for Working Teens