To Stay Injury Free, ASSE Urges Teens to Be Aware of Summer Job Risks, Offer Safety Tips
DES PLAINES, IL (July 11, 2011) — No matter where a teen works — at the pool, the restaurant, the store, etc. — they need to know how to be safe at work, according to the 100-year-old American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). Teens, and their parents, are not likely to ask about work safety issues, such as what personal protection gear is needed or if there are any on-the-job hazards when they start a job, but they should.
Knowing the work risks and the safety procedures can prevent workplace injuries and illnesses and keep a teen from becoming another statistic. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 86 teens died from on-the-job injuries in the U.S. in 2009 and thousands more were injured. According to the BLS, the top cause of teen worker deaths was roadway incidents followed by homicides/robberies, falls, and being struck by an object.
The more than 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members of ASSE work in all industries around the globe developing and implementing workplace safety programs to protect people, property and the environment and they see a need to educate teens, parents and employers on work safety. As a result, the free ASSE “Target Teen Work Safety” electronic tool kit (www.asse.org/teensafety) was developed to provide information for teens and parents on what questions to ask, what the laws are when it comes to youth labor, what the most frequent types of injuries are and much more. The tips are relevant for all workers.
“This is not just a homework assignment for school, but for life,” ASSE President Terrie S. Norris, CSP, ARM, CPSI, of Long Beach, CA, said. “Every day ASSE members around the globe work to make sure that their co-workers leave work injury and illness free to return home safely to their family and friends. We want the same for teen workers.”
Norris notes that a recent University of North Carolina study found that most parents are unaware of the risks their teenagers face in the workplace, which is alarming.
Some of the risks teens face at work include slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, heavy lifting, loud noises and working alone. If they are not aware of the risk and properly trained and protected, these dangers can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
The ASSE ‘Target Teen Work Safety’ kit at www.asse.org/teensafety includes the popular on-line game “Don’t be a Zombie at Work” (www.dontbeazombieatwork.org) information; fact sheets; safety first power point; teens at work safety first quiz; brochures; research articles; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) young worker guide; presentation aids and much more.
In 2007, more than 77,000 teen workers in the U.S. alone sustained injuries serious enough to send them to hospital emergency rooms. Throughout the U.S., about 230,000 teens suffer work-related injuries, with most of those injuries occurring in the retail or service industries, according to NIOSH. For all workers, close to 5,000 workers die from on-the-job injuries and 4.4 million more suffer from injuries and illnesses in the U.S. alone each year.
“We hope parents and teachers review the information that ASSE is providing as it could save a life,” Norris said. “They then need to share it with their children.”
Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the oldest safety society. Its 34,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information go to www.asse.org/teensafety , www.asse.org/newsroom or contact firstname.lastname@example.org and for the University of North Carolina study go to http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/4608/107/.