DIR Distributes Winning Teen-Made Safety Video to California Theaters

The Department of Industrial Relations announced the release of the winning video public service announcement (PSA) created by a California teenager as part of a workplace safety contest. The first-place entry, created by Jose Villasenor, Jr., a student of Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, Calif., creatively delivered his message with unique visual effects focusing on workplace safety and health, according to DIR, which is sending the PSA for screenings at theaters statewide.

“The purpose of the contest is to encourage California teens to take an active role in learning about safety and health and labor requirements in the workplace,” said DIR Director John Duncan. “The contest raises much needed public awareness of workplace safety and child labor laws.”

Sponsored by DIR’s Divisions of Occupational Safety and Health and Labor Standards Enforcement, as well as the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, the contest was opened to all California teens under 18, challenging them to create a 30-second video PSA centering on workplace safety and/or child labor laws. Villasenor’s PSA will be aired during movie previews at Cinemark Theater in Yuba City, near his home town of Olivehurst, and at theaters throughout California from June 27-July 24, which are peak-frequency months when parents and teens attend movies. The PSA will be seen on well more than 60 screens averaging 370,000 monthly viewers, DIR said.

Working teens must know their employment rights on the job, the agency said. Teens under 18 are required to obtain a work permit from the schools or school district, cannot perform dangerous work specified under the child labor law guidelines, and must be paid the minimum wage of $8 per hour. According to DIR’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, more than $450,000 in penalties was issued to businesses for violations of child labor laws last year. Nearly 90 percent of those fines were to employers who failed to have work permits for the minors they employed. DIR was established to improve working conditions for California's wage earners, and to advance opportunities for profitable employment in California.

To view Villasenor’s winning PSA, visit www.dir.ca.gov/youngworker/PSAcontest08.asp.

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