Whether your teen has a summertime job or a part-time gig during the year, it’s important to know that the specific types of jobs that teens are usually most eligible for may not be the safest—not by a long shot.
According to the CDC, 70 teens in the United States die from their work injuries per year. Many more—some 70,000—have a work injury that sends them to the hospital room.
One study out of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that one industry, in particular, attracts young workers—and presents increased opportunities for workplace injuries. This is the restaurant industry. The NIOSH found that almost 45,000 teenaged workers sustained severe workplace accidents over a two-year period; 28,000 of these injuries occurred in fast food establishments.
Why Do Teens Get Hurt While On the Job?
There are many reasons why teenagers might get hurt on the job more frequently than their older colleagues. Some possible explanations are:
- Typical teen workplaces—warehouses, restaurants, grocery stores—tend to feature more associated hazards such as slippery floors, sharp knives, and hot ovens or food heaters.
- A teen may not have the physical strength to deal with other workplace situations—for example, if they’re asked to lift a heavy box or operate heavy machinery.
- A teen may also, very simply, have much less training or experience than their older colleagues. As this may be the very first time they’re working outside of their home, they may be more stressed and nervous. This can lead to incidents that can prove dangerous.
What are the most common hazards and injuries that teen workers face?
The United States Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have studied the reasons why young workers are getting injured. OSHA has provided a list of the specific hazards and injuries that teenaged workers face in their workplaces. These include, by industry:
- Retail and Grocery: Slippery floors, heavy equipment, complex machinery, and heavy lifting
- Food Service: Slippery floors, violent crime, and hot cooking equipment
- Janitorial Service: Slippery floors, bio-contaminants in harsh cleaning products, heavy lifting
- Office Work: Repetitive hand motion, carpal tunnel, eye issues, ergonomic issues
- Outdoor Work: Sharp or heavy machinery, heat exposure, cold exposure, pesticide exposure
- Agriculture: Heavy machinery and exposure to hazardous chemicals
These are just examples of the most common injuries, but they’re dangerous and prevalent enough. It’s best to be prepared for the worst when you’re protecting your teen and their future.
Protect Your Teenager’s Future by Reaching Out to Tarzana Professionals
The world of workers’ compensation can be confusing and frustrating to navigate, particularly when you’re working with a minor. In these cases, having an experienced guide can make a world of difference. With the help of empathetic, skilled attorneys who have worked in this field for years, you can learn how to file for workers’ compensation or pursue alternative paths that may work best for you and your family.
Ready to get started? You can reach out to professionals today to schedule a case consultation.