The Safe, Skilled, Ready Workforce Initiative was developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. While recognizing that employers are responsible for providing a safe, healthy workplace, the initiative puts the onus on many other institutions to help prepare people for work.
Education, business and labor, and health are the three pathways for promoting the initiative. Failing to prepare a safe, skilled, ready workforce will cause problems such as increased workplace injuries and illness, higher health care costs, lower productivity, and loss of economic viability and competitiveness, according to a NIOSH description of the initiative.
"Safe and healthy work is vital to a worker's well-being," NIOSH said. "People who are injured on the job cannot live up to their full potential and cannot play productive, fully functioning roles in the workforce. A skilled worker is a safe worker."
The initiative defines work ready as having basic and applied skills. Basic skills include reading, writing, and arithmetic while applied skills involve being flexible, ability to self-direct, and having self-control, accountability, responsibility, and leadership skills.
"Many approaches to developing a modern workplace do not address health and safety skills of workers," according to a description of the initiative. "But these skills allow workers to be part of a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. Basic safety and health skills are key to any work readiness effort and to every job."
The effort focuses on young and new workers. It includes eight core competencies that are general, transferable, and can apply across all industries. They are:
- Recognize that, while work has benefits, all workers can be injured, become sick, or even be killed on the job. Workers need to know how workplace risks can affect their lives and their families.
- Recognize that work-related injuries and illnesses are predictable and can be prevented.
- Identify hazards at work and predict how workers can be injured or made sick.
- Recognize how to prevent injury and illness. Describe the best ways to address workplace hazards and apply these concepts to specific workplace problems.
- Identify emergencies at work and decide on the best ways to address them.
- Recognize employer and worker rights and responsibilities that play a role in safe and healthy work.
- Find resources that help keep workers safe and healthy on the job.
- Demonstrate how workers can communicate with others, including people in authority roles, to ask questions or report problems or concerns when they feel unsafe or threatened.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
May 13, 2013
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