Young workers can be an asset to the workforce – enthusiastic, hard working, and eager to learn. However, young people are at higher risk of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Across the country, the number of young workers injured on the job is alarming — OSHA reports teenagers suffer injuries every nine minutes, every year more than 100 thousand young workers are injured on the job, and hundreds are killed. Many of these deaths and injuries are preventable.
As teens search for summer jobs, it is a good time to highlight the importance of preventing teen workplace injuries and raise awareness about child labor and workplace health and safety issues. State Fund believes information and education leads to a safer workplace, and offers tips for youth, colleagues, parents, and anyone else who knows a young worker.
You should be aware of what job and working hours restrictions the California Labor Code mandates for teenagers.
An important step to prevent injuries is to recognize workplace dangers. Common job-related injuries among teens include:
Also, be aware of workplace situations that pose a higher risk for inexperienced young people:
Employers are required to provide a safe workplace, but young workers also share in the responsibility for safety. As an industry leader in safety, State Fund offers several resources on young worker safety, including a Guide for Working Teens, also available in Spanish.
Additional resource: Young Worker Summer Job Safety