Workplace injuries common for teens during summer jobs

Many teenagers in California and around the country get jobs during the summer. In their most recent data, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that there are over 19 million workers under the age of 24. Safety experts state that younger workers may not receive sufficient training or supervision, thus leading to more workplace injuries.

In a NIOSH report covering a 10-year period, young workers experienced twice as many emergency occupational injuries than those workers over the age of 25. A child labor specialist states that it is more likely for younger workers to be injured on the job than adults. Data shows an increase in workplace injuries among teens in recent years.

The types of injuries differ among the various industries where teens are employees and the hazards they present. Food services employ the largest number of teens. Typical injury-causing hazards in food services include slippery floors and hot cooking equipment. In retail or grocery stores, heavy lifting as well as the equipment and machinery contribute to injuries.

Injuries can occur in office areas from repetitive hand movements and other ergonomic issues. Working outdoors can create such hazards as exposure to heat or pesticides. Both the agricultural and janitorial industries can expose workers to hazardous chemicals.

No matter what the age of the worker, all California employees have the right to a safe working environment. Employers should have plans and procedures in place to prevent workplace injuries. Should an injury occur, a workers' compensation attorney can work with clients to ensure that the benefits to which someone is entitled are received.

Source:, "Summer Jobs Can Put Teens at Risk for Workplace Injuries", Denise Johnson, June 27, 2017

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