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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


NAGAI, Roberta et al. Knowledge and practices by adolescents in preventing occupational injuries: a qualitative study. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.3, pp.404-411. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To describe knowledge and practices adopted by high school students to prevent occupational injuries. STUDY DESIGN: The study was carried out in a public school located in São Paulo, in 2003. Fifty-three evening students aged 14 to 21 years old participated the study, they were divided into two groups with and without job experience (32 and 21 students, respectively). The students answered two questions: "Why do occupational injuries occur?" and "How do you avoid occupational injuries?" Analyses were performed using the software "Quali-quanti" to structure collective discourses. ANALYSIS OF DISCOURSES: Adolescents with work experience reported that occupational injuries occur due to carelessness of the employee, bad luck of the employee, employer's negligence, lack of training, and unsafe workplace. Adolescents without work experience reported that the main causes of work injuries were carelessness of the employee and employer's negligence. Regarding the ways to protect themselves against occupational injuries, both groups reported that: they pay attention (would pay attention) and wear safety equipment (would wear) safety equipment. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents from both groups showed limited knowledge about occupational injuries and prevention methods. Students "blamed the victim" to explain the injuries and considered "paying attention to work" as the best way to protect themselves. These facts showed that the culture of blaming the victim is present since adolescence and probably it is an outcome of a learning process of the society.

Keywords : Students; Adolescent; Accidents [occupational, prevention & control]; Health knowledge [attitudes & practice]; Qualitative research.

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