A Win for Teen Workplace Safety

​Teen workplace safety took a big step forward earlier this month when AIHA President Steven Lacey, PhD, CIH, CSP testified at a hearing of the Texas State House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Education in support of House Bill 2010. This bill encourages school districts to incorporate workplace health and safety training into their curricula. In his remarks, Lacey noted that schools may wish to use existing, free resources such as the Safety Matters program. Doing so would allow schools to focus their scarce funds elsewhere to further improve student learning.

Shortly after this hearing, H.B.2010 was approved without amendment by the Public Education Committee, and at the time this article is written, has been referred to the House Calendars Committee, where it will be scheduled for consideration on the House floor. If approved by the House, the bill must still go through the Senate before being presented to the Governor. The Texas Legislature is slated to adjourn at the end of May, making time a precious commodity. Even so, Texas Legislators are used to the frenetic pace of their time at the Capitol, and the passage of this bill out of committee is a positive sign of momentum.

Regardless of whether or not H.B.2010 is enacted into law this year, it has still provided a great government relations opportunity for AIHA, its six Local Sections in Texas, and the other partner organizations – all of whom banded together​ in support of this bill. The bill also serves as a model for other States, who may wish to take up the baton and enact their own bills.