Program

Dec 31, 2001

OVERVIEW

The Safe Teen Work Project was designed to reduce the occurrence of cutting
injuries that are commonly experienced by adolescent grocery store employees.
The program consisted of supplying grocery store workers with new, safer
case-cutters, and providing a short employee training on the safe handling and
use of case-cutters. An experimental evaluation shows that injuries decreased
more in stores that participated in the full program than in stores that
participated in some or none of the program services; it is not known by what
rate injuries decreased for adolescents, specifically.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: adolescents employed at grocery stores

The Safe Teen Work Project was designed to reduce the occurrence of cutting
injuries among adolescents employed at grocery stores (Banco, Lapidus, Monopoli,
& Zavoski, 1997). Cutting injuries are common among adolescents who use
case-cutters in their work at grocery or general merchandise establishments.
Stores who implemented the program received new, safer case-cutters and a
15-minute employee training on the safe handling and use of the case-cutters.

Estimated cost savings were
$245 per year per store.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Evaluated population:
Employees of grocery stores in Connecticut; age of participants was not limited
to adolescents.

Approach: Nine stores of a single grocery chain in Connecticut were randomly assigned to
one of three conditions. Three stores received new, safer case-cutters and a
15-minute employee training regarding safe handling and use of the case-cutters.
A second group of stores did not receive safer case-cutters, but received a
15-minute employee training in safe handling of the equipment. The third group
of stores did not receive safer case-cutters or safety training. Store logs
provided data on lacerations during a period spanning two years before and one
year after the intervention.

Results: According to these data, stores that received new
equipment along with employee training saw a larger decline in the rate of
laceration injuries than did stores in the other two experimental conditions.
Moreover, a cost-effectiveness analysis suggests that the program is very cost
effective, as those stores that received new equipment and benefited from
employee training experienced net savings.

There are two important caveats to consider when interpreting these findings.
While 31% of employees injured during this time were younger than 20 years of
age, the ages of injured workers spanned from 16 to 78 years.  Thus, although the
program was targeted to adolescent workers, the program effect was not evaluated
for adolescent workers alone. Additionally, the analysis did not include a
measure of statistical precision.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Banco, L., Lapidus, G., Monopoli, J., & Zavoski, R. (1997). The Safe Teen Work
Project: A study to reduce cutting injuries among young and inexperienced
workers. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 31, 619-622.

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

Hatcher, J. L., & Scarpa, J. (2001). Background for community-level work on
physical health and safety in adolescence: Reviewing the literature on
contributing factors.
Washington, DC: Child Trends.

KEYWORDS: Adolescence (12-17), Community-Based, Skills Training, Physical
Health, Injury Prevention, Other Safety, Workplace.

Program information last
updated 12/31/01.

 

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