Some teens and employers learn the hard way
take on the responsibility.
Safety awareness can prevent teen injury in summer jobs.
SAN FRANCISCO-- Thousands of young workers 14-18 years old begin new
jobs this summer in California. Many industries will employ youth in food service,
grocery stores, retail, and on construction sites. These jobs can create positive
work experiences and allow California teens to earn money. These jobs can also
involve injury, disability and death if young workers are not informed of the
"Jobs are a great way to gain valuable experience and income. But they need to be safe jobs," said Diane Bush of UC Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program. "California has child labor laws that protect young workers from getting hurt on their first job. This is a chance to help teens develop safety skills that will last them a lifetime," Bush added.
Young workers face risks from:
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, every year in the U.S. an estimated 200,000 young workers are injured on the job. About 70,000 are injured seriously enough to go to the emergency room. Studies suggest that youth job injury rates are higher than those of adults, despite the fact that teens are prohibited from working in the most hazardous occupations.
"Our young workers should be entering the work force knowing they'll get
health and safety training, and asking for it if they don't," says Bush.
"They should be learning to take responsibility for problems they see and
know it's okay to tell their boss."
To help teach young workers, employers and parents of teens in California how to prevent injuries on the job, state and federal agencies issued workplace safety and health and labor law tips. The Web site, www.youngworkers.org, has tips for young workers, parents, employers and educators on keeping teens safe at work. Collaboration between state and federal agencies include the Department of Industrial Relations, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, and California Resource Network for Young Workers' Health and Safety-and is coordinated by UC Berkeley's Labor Occupational Health Program.
Public information outreach is ongoing: