What Teens Need to Know Before Going to Work

As Teens Prepare for Summer Jobs, American Society of Safety Engineers Urge Them To Do Their Safety Homework


DES PLAINES, IL (April 21, 2008) – Last year more than 5700 people died and millions more suffered injuries and illnesses from on-the-job accidents, including thousands of teen workers. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and its 32,000+ occupational safety, health and environmental professional members urge teens and their parents to be aware of workplace safety prevention measures before they go to work this summer, whether for a part-time job or their first full-time position.

"Teens don't often think of safety when they step into their first job, but they should. We're offering the teens, parents and employers the resources they need to help them stay safe at work," ASSE member Cindy Lewis, co-chair of the annual Houston YouthRules! Rally, Job and Career Fair, said. "We work to educate this audience almost daily through city events such as the annual YouthRules! rally in Houston and other cities and by providing free resources such as our workplace safety guide for young workers, the work safety tips for teens handout, the ASSE teen safety tips web page, the safety suitcase for young children and the annual ASSE safety-on-the-job poster contest for those aged 5-14 along with student chapters, scholarships and much, much more. But more needs to be done."


Teen Workers More Likely to be Injured on the Job

ASSE Press Release - June 21, 2007

DES PLAINES, IL (June 21, 2007) – Young workers are exposed to many of the same on-the-job risks as their adult counterparts, but they are more likely to be injured at work than adult workers write the authors of the "Protecting Young Workers – Coordinated Strategies Help To Raise Safety Awareness" article in the American Society of Safety Engineers Professional Safety Journal's June issue.

With summer comes the rush for teens to find a summer job, yet safety is not one of their main concerns. However, according to federal statistics, teens are injured at a rate of at least two times higher than adult workers in some occupational sectors. Nationally, approximately 230,000 teens suffer work-related injuries each year, with 77,000 of those seeking emergency room care. The authors note that more than 80 percent of these injuries occur in the retail or service industries.


Fact Sheet: Teens at Work, Know the Risks

Compiled by the American Society of Safety Engineers

Approximately 80 percent of U.S. teens work annually at some time during their high school years, many during the summer. While they earn extra money and gain valuable work experience, the risk of serious injury or even a fatal injury is present. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2004 alone, more than 38,000 teen workers were injured on the job, and another 134 were fatally injured. Workers aged 15 to 17 spend most of their work hours in food preparation and service jobs, handling stock or in labor jobs, as administrative support jobs, farming, forestry or in fishing jobs. Common injuries sustained among teens include sprains, strains, contusions, lacerations, and fractures.

Teens: Working at a job while you’re still in school can be great! Not only can you earn money, you can develop new skills and explore future careers. Teens have become an important part of the workforce because so many high school students now have part-time jobs.

Although most teens work fewer hours and hold less dangerous jobs than adults, teenagers have a high rate of work-related injuries. Every year in the U.S., nearly 70 teenagers under age 18 die from work-related injuries. Another 77,000 teen workers are hurt badly enough to end up in hospital emergency rooms. Additionally, more than 5,000 workers of all ages die from work-related injuries each year and four million more suffer work-related illnesses and debilitating injuries countrywide. Continue...


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