If you employ workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, they could be at higher risk of injury than the rest of your workforce. Keep reading for information on an important new training resource created for these employees.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has produced a comprehensive curriculum designed to teach basic occupational safety and health skills and knowledge to young and older workers, as well as students with disabilities. Staying Safe at Work is intended for supported employment agencies, vocational rehabilitation programs, and other organizations that place in jobs, or hire workers with disabilities.
The curriculum features interactive and fun learning activities that focus on the ability to:
- Recognize that workers can become injured, sick, or even killed on the job;
- Recognize that work-related injuries and illnesses are predictable and can be prevented; and
- Identify hazards at work, evaluate risk, and predict how workers can become injured or ill.
According to NIOSH, the rate of workplace injury among employees in vocational rehabilitation programs is more than 60 percent higher the overall rate of workplace injuries. In general, most workers lack health and safety training, says NIOSH. But those with intellectual and developmental disabilities have even fewer options for this training.
Common work activities for those with developmental disabilities are light manufacturing, recycling, assembly, janitorial tasks, laundry, landscaping, and warehouse work. Most of these have higher than average rates of injury, NIOSH notes.
The new training resource addresses hazards, making the job safer, emergencies at work, speaking up when there is a problem, and rights and responsibilities on the job.
NIOSH publication 2016-159 can be downloaded at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2016-159/pdfs/2016-159_10-4-16.pdf.