Labor Occupational Health Program, U.C. Berkeley, CA Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA Young Worker Safety Resource Center
80% of teens report that theyve held jobs before completing high school 15- to 17-year-olds with jobs work an average of 17 hours per week during school months and 23 hours per week during summer months Most teens work before theyre 18.
Every year 230,000 teens are injured on the job. 77,000 15- to 17-year-olds visit the emergency room for work-related injuries. 70 teens 15-17 are killed on the job each year. 90 teens 18-19 years old are killed on the job each year. Teens are injured at higher rates than adults: :07 A teen is injured every seven minutes on the job.
What types of injuries do teens experience? Cuts 34% Contusions 18% Sprains 16% Burns 12% Fractures 4%
15% to 44% of injured teens who receive workers compensation have been found to suffer permanent disability. How serious are these injuries?
Using cutting and/or non-powered hand tools Handling hot liquids and grease Working around cooking appliances Continuous manual lifting of heavy objects Teens get injured doing common yet dangerous tasks:
Operating tractors or heavy machinery Driving or working around motor vehicles Working near electrical hazards while using ladders, poles, etc. Working late at night or alone (continued) Teens get injured doing common yet dangerous tasks:
Why are teens injured on the job at such high rates?
Why teens get injured on the job: Hazards on the job Inexperienced Want to be responsible and appear competent Developmental characteristics Some are working in violation of the child labor laws Lack of training and supervision
Some teens work in violation of labor laws: For too many hours In prohibited hazardous occupations Without permits WORK ALERT Most states require Teens to have a valid permit to work. Schools, employers, and parents are part of the permit process.
Lack of sleep Difficulty staying awake in class and less time for homework Negative effects on learning Moodiness and difficulty in controlling emotions Increased use of stimulants, e.g. caffeine, nicotine Teens who work long hours may experience:
Studies and surveys reveal that young workers do not receive adequate health and safety training at work Youth are often assigned potentially dangerous tasks for which they receive no training Teen workers often do not get the training they need:
Employers of Youth Staff from: School to Career programs Workforce Investment Boards Jobs for Americas Graduates Transition-to-work programs for youth with disabilities Community organizations Apprenticeship programs Government agencies Parents Youth Who Can Play a Role in Protecting Young Workers?
State and local strategies Young worker safety: Partners for prevention
Strong laws that are enforced Safe workplaces Adequate training & supervision Data to understand the problem Protecting young workers requires:
A team approach is needed Employer Groups State Dept of Health State Dept of Labor State Dept of Education COSHes and Unions Workforce Investment Boards Youth Serving Organizations
Department of Education Reach teens and parents Work permits Department of Labor Reach employers Enforce laws Job training Provide health & safety information Complementary roles:
Curricula Educational materials Public information Interagency plans Strengthening laws Outreach to employers Activities in other states
Educational Materials: Making it part of the system Schools give out brochures with work permits (MA) Dept of Ed sends brochures to all schools in the spring (NH) Dept of Labor sends posters to all employers of youth (ME)
Interagency Planning CA Partnership for Young Worker Health and Safety Mass Young Worker Initiative CT Young Worker Team
I nteragency Planning (cont) Strategies to reach employers, schools, youth-serving organizations, and parents. Strategies to improve data on injuries and violations of laws Strategies to improve coordination
Laws and Regulations Limits on working with pesticides/ working alone in a cash business (ME) Job placement staff must be trained in safety and health (NJ) Teen peer leaders advocate for limits on working alone after 8pm (MA)
State and local strategies Reaching Out to Employers
What Are Employers Primary Responsibilities? + Provide a safe workplace (equipment, chemical exposures, violence, etc.) + Know and be in compliance with child labor laws, health and safety regulations + Training + Supervision, including opportunities for employees to ask questions, report problems
Key Messages For Employers: Teens can be great, enthusiastic workers Teens tend not to speak up or ask questions Employers play a valuable role in training and mentoring young workers
Key Messages For Employers: Employers need to provide hands-on training, observe the work Employer need to encourage questions, speaking up
Ways Educators Can Work With Employers: Provide written information Discuss on-site health and safety training for youth Report and follow- up on unsafe conditions
Other Ways To Get Information to Employers With work permits Through employer consultants (insurers, private health and safety consultants, OSHA consultation)
Through employer associations (newsletters, local presentations, conferences, websites)
Maine: Developed and Distributed Employer Kit Maine Department of Labor Kit contains training activities, brochures, wallet cards, poster, STOP sticker 3000 kits mailed to employers and educators
Washington: Educating Restaurant Employers Washington Department of Labor and Industries Washington Restaurant Association Workshops for hundreds of restaurant employers throughout state http://www.lni.wa.gov/scs/ workstandards/teensafety
Massachusetts: Warnings for Teens and Employers Massachusetts Department of Public Health Federal Department of Labor Information and stickers distributed to thousands of employers
Young Workers in Maryland No estimates produced for 14 & 15 yr. olds LWD cases: 88 16 yrs; 51 17 yrs; 306 18 yrs 63% sprains; 50% back injuries
Maryland Labor Laws Teen Rights on the Job Dangerous Work Work Permits Work Hours Workers Compensation Benefits MOSH