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Human Resource Management

HRM Guide USA HRM Guide UK HRM Guide World About HRM Guide Student HRM Jobs/Careers HR Updates Facebook
Search all of HRM Guide

Teen Work Injuries

August 24 2006 - A new survey of 6810 teens shows that of the 50 per cent that were in employment, 514 had been injured at work. In 150 cases the injury was severe enough to affect activities at home, work, or school for more than three days, and 97 filed for workers' compensation.

"The findings from this study clearly indicate that work-related injuries among youth are a significant health problem. Developing programs and strategies to reduce injury must be made a priority" say the report's authors Kristina M. Zierold, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and Henry A. Anderson, chief medical officer of the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

Training on the job where safety could be stressed is often given by another employee and "usually consists of explaining how to do the work and how to work the equipment, without emphasis on safety issues. In other instances, no training is given at all.... There are no standards governing the safety training" said Zierold.

Zierold continued:

"Because so many high school students are working during the school year, we advocate introducing a safety training course within the school health curriculum. Training would emphasize how to identify work-related hazards, how to protect themselves from hazards, and how to address their supervisors with their safety concerns. With the safety training, teens could feel empowered at the workplace by knowing their rights and how to protect themselves."

The researchers note that nationally each year, "approximately 70 children die from injuries inflicted at work; hundreds are hospitalized and tens of thousands require treatment in hospital emergency rooms. The National Pediatric Trauma Registry and the National Center for Health Statistics report that occupational injuries are the fourth-leading cause of death among youth ages 10-19."

The new survey showed that some of the jobs and tasks required of teens are illegal. The most dangerous jobs were in:

  • lumber mills (51 per cent were injured)
  • lumber yards (40 per cent)
  • manufacturing (37 per cent)
  • gas stations (36 per cent)
  • someone else's farm (36 per cent)
  • construction (30 per cent.).

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