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October 2013

News Briefs

Oregon OSHA launches video series to educate young workers

From singing restaurant workers to a quirky teacher passionate about lifting techniques, four videos to educate young workers about common workplace hazards are now available at and on YouTube.

The videos cover general awareness for teens about speaking up on the job, safe lifting, ladder safety, and restaurant safety. Austin Coburn, a 19-year-old summer intern at Oregon OSHA, created the videos. Coburn was the 2013 winner of the Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition's "Speak Up. Work Safe." video contest for his video "Safety: The Musical."

Coburn, currently studying film at George Fox University, said he wanted to make young people aware of safety issues on the job and keep the messages entertaining.

"I relied on elements such as music and comedy that I knew teens could relate to," Coburn said. "The videos not only needed to teach the teens, but had to be memorable."

Workers age 25 and younger are more likely to be injured on the job, according to a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

"It's important to reach young workers at the start of their career because they are forming safety habits and a perspective that will inform them in future years on the job," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "Reaching them – getting their attention – requires creativity. We can't just rely on the same methods we've used for years."

Austin Coburn (right) films a video on safe lifting techniques

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