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Research partnerships for safer, healthier workplaces.

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Comments ID886.01
Unit CommentVerbal Comment 2006/03/20: Hi, my name is Raquel Lamons. Iím 16 and attend Charlestown High School. I am a senior peer leader at MassCOSH Teens Lead at Work Peer Leadership Program. I decided to work at MassCOSH because I was interested in learning about occupational health and safety pertaining to teens.
In the past, I always heard about other teen organizations working on common issues, and I felt that Teens Lead at Work was the only youth organization that worked on unique topics. I have been working here for three years. We are currently working on strengthening child labor laws, education and outreach, and community organization through the Dorchester Occupational Health Initiative.
A little over two years ago on February 16th, 2003, a teen named Cristian Giambrone, who worked as a store clerk at a popular retail store, was fatally stabbed while chasing a shoplifter. He was not trained on how to approach a shoplifter or how to handle a dangerous situation. What would you do in this situation?
Well, I know what the MassCOSH teens did, we collaborated with Cristianís mother, Taciana Sabb, and the Brazilian Teens peer leaders to form the Workplace Violence Campaign in which we are trying to implement a policy that will make sure all employees, especially teens, are adequately trained in workplace violence situations.
Teens are most vulnerable than adults and are injured at a twice the rate of adults. The reason for this being is teens are intimidated by older supervisors who usually ask teens to perform dangerous tasks and often forced to stay late.
Teens need to work to help their families and for personal needs. Jobs are good for teens because it helps build character and teaches them responsibility. This is why teens need to work, but how can they work in unsafe conditions? For this reason, we need to protect teens in their workplace.
Situations like Cristianís happen a lot. Just a couple of weeks ago there were several violent occurrences in which retail clerks were seriously injured. I think research should be geared towards teens because we could get the word out about health and safety quickly by organizing and researching out into the community.
We teens have fun and vibrant ways of spreading information and can recruit others to join us in our fight for workplace violence and health -- I mean, workplace health and safety. I believe that with the right research we can receive the appropriate funding and build stronger communities with teen activists.
We also need more research to make sure all teen occupational topics are properly studies. This will help the doors open to organizations like ours, MassCOSH Teens Lead at Work Peer Leadership Program. This will give other communities a chance to implement a similar teen occupational health and safety program in our neighborhoods.
Because of the work we are doing, other teen employees wonít have to get injured or killed. Hopefully, everyone in this room is listening, because Iím really speaking through my heart. If youíre down with me, then youíre trying to help the teens. So thank you for listening, and please have a great evening.
Note: Verbal testimony provided to NORA Town Hall meeting in Lowell, MA, 2006/03/20.
Indexed as
health outcomes:Traumatic injuries
Work-site implementation/demonstration
Authoritative recommendation
Work-site occupational safety health system/record keeping

Page last modified: January 25, 2008