Curriculum Aims to Teach Workers with Intellectual, Developmental Disabilities about OHS

Published October 12, 2016

NIOSH recently published a six-lesson training program designed to teach basic occupational safety and health knowledge and skills to young and older workers and students with disabilities such as difficulty reading or understanding abstract concepts. The curriculum is intended for organizations and companies that place or hire workers with disabilities, including supported employment agencies, community vocational rehabilitation programs, and high-school transition programs. The new curriculum is based on an earlier program developed by the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) at the University of California, Berkeley with support from NIOSH. LOHP and NIOSH developed the updated version of the curriculum to align it with the core competencies taught in NIOSH’s “Youth@Work: Talking Safety” foundational curriculum in occupational safety and health, which was developed for schools throughout the U.S.

According to NIOSH, the newly updated Staying Safe at Work curriculum can help teach students, consumers, and employees the foundational OHS skills that all workers need. LOHP and NIOSH intend the skills taught in the curriculum to be general, transferable, and applicable across all jobs and industries. Lessons in the updated program include an introduction to workplace health and safety, looking for job hazards, making jobs safer, staying safe in an emergency at work, workers’ rights and responsibilities on the job, and speaking up when there is a problem in the workplace.

The curriculum is available as a PDF download via NIOSH’s website.

Related: The Safety Matters program was jointly introduced in October 2015 by AIHA and NIOSH, and is intended to raise awareness among young workers about workplace safety and health. Safety Matters, which is also based on NIOSH’s “Youth@Work: Talking Safety”  curriculum, is a one-hour interactive teaching module and PowerPoint presentation targeted to students in grades 7 through 12.