Dr. Zierold receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Kristina Zierold, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, has been awarded funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for her two-year project "Safety and Injury Among Teens Enrolled in School-To-Work Apprentice Programs" starting on September 1, 2008. In the United States, occupational injuries are the 4th leading cause of death among youth aged 10-19 years old. A teenager is hurt on the job every 40 seconds and one dies every five days. In 1994, the School-To-Work Opportunities Act was passed to allow high-school youth the opportunity to take part in work-based learning programs modeled after the concept of an apprenticeship that would integrate school-based instruction with structured on-the-job training. Over 72% of public high schools in the US offer components of the School-To-Work (STW) program. Since the STW program was created based on the apprenticeship model, where students could learn job skills while under the guidance of a mentor, we might expect that fewer work-related injuries occur among STW students compared with other working students; however, no information exists to answer this question.
This project will investigate the injuries and safety training of students enrolled in STW programs and compare the findings to other working students. The scope of this study will allow the first opportunity to determine if STW programs, which are based on apprenticeship and job shadowing, are successful in reducing work-related injury among young workers. Findings from this study will lead to the development of an intervention program with a longitudinal design that will follow young workers throughout high school.