Young Worker Safety

Young Worker Safety

Young Worker Safety

Definition: Approximately 2.3 million adolescents aged 16 to 17 years worked in the U.S. in 2007. Young workers have unique and substantial risks for work-related injuries and illnesses dues to their biologic, social, and economic characteristics.

Magnitude of the Problem: According to NIOSH,

  • In 2009, 359 workers under the age of 24 and 27 workers under the age of 18 died of work-related injuries.
  • There was an average of 795,000 nonfatal injuries to young workers each year between 1998 and 2007.
  • Common injuries are cuts, contusions, sprains, burns, and fractures.

Young workers who are low income, immigrant, urban, or have developmental and learning disabilities may incur injury and death at higher rates in the workplace.

Prevention: Adequately trained young workers are less likely to be injured on the job. New young workers need a basic understanding of workplace hazards, how to work safely and what to do if their work is unsafe. Outreach to vulnerable populations should be a priority as they are most at risk.

Work-Related Injuries Are Happening to Youth: Can We Make a Difference?

Young workers are a significant subset of the U.S. workforce, and they are at increased risk of being injured while on the job.  In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that, “In 2013, there were approximately 18.1 million workers less than 24 years of age, and these workers represented 13% of the workforce. Young workers have high occupational injury rates which are in part explained by a high frequency of injury hazards in workplaces where they typically work. “(1)

CSN Webinar
Oct 27 2015

Are You a Teen Worker? | NIOSH

Every 9 minutes, a U.S. teen gets hurt on the job. This guide gives teens the facts they need to stay safe and healthy at work. It also shows what jobs teens can (and can’t do), and it teaches about rights and responsibilities as a young worker.

Resource Type: 
Useful Publications

Working together for safety: A state team approach to preventing occupational injuries in young people.

This document contains two case studies that demonstrate the value of the State team approach, and also describes the experiences and activities of the State teams in the Northeast; the products developed by the teams, and key resources for other States interested in creating their own State teams.

Resource Type: 
Useful Publications

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