Researchers are seeking to describe the elements of effective safety and health education for new and young construction workers in career technical education (CTE) programs at community and technical colleges. The project is being conducted by researchers from UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP) and West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center and funded through a grant from CPWR, The Center for Construction Research and Training.
According to Diane Bush, one of the project’s research leads and program coordinator for the Labor Occupational Health Program at UC Berkeley, new and young workers are at greatest risk for injury on the construction site.
“Postsecondary construction programs train approximately 95,000 students annually, 43% of whom are under the age of 25,” Bush says. “Because CTE construction programs are one of the few places new construction workers receive any kind of training or preparation, they are an important vehicle for educating new and young workers about construction health and safety.”
The 3-year study is designed to describe essential program components that form the core of effective safety and health education in 2-year post-secondary CTE construction programs, including necessary structural or administrative supports, instructor preparation and teaching methods, and curriculum and course content.
The project “will make a significant contribution to improved health and safety among young workers,” CPWR says.
The research has included both quantitative and qualitative research methods consisting of case study site visits, and surveys of postsecondary CTE construction administrators and instructors. The researchers conducted 30 interviews during three site visits, and surveyed 322 administrators, instructors and students in postsecondary CTE programs.
At press time, the researchers were in the process of analyzing the research results. The findings will be shared with OSH practitioners and integrated into a guidance document developed for CTE instructors and administrators. According to Bush, the researchers should have more information from their findings to report by April.
Originally published March 13, 2017.