Occupational Hazards for Young Workers
Summer jobs, afterschool work, and weekend gigs all provide employment opportunities for young people looking to make some extra cash. In 2010, there were approximately 17.5 million workers less than 24 years of age in the United States, making up 13% of the total workforce.
Unfortunately, this age group sees a high number of workplace injuries and fatalities every year. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), young workers, ages 14-24, are at risk for workplace injury partly because of their inexperience at work and their physical, cognitive, and emotional developmental characteristics. Other reasons for young worker injuries include:
- Hesitation to Ask Questions
- Lack of Safety Training
- Inability to Recognize Workplace Dangers
- Dangerous work environments (ex: kitchens, farms, pools)
Most Common Workplace Fatality Causes
Information below provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and applies to the years 1998-2002.
- Transportation accidents (accounted for more than half the fatalities)
- Contact with objects and equipment (includes struck-by accidents)
- Assaults and violent acts (includes assault, homicide, suicide)
- Fatal falls (a majority from scaffolding accidents)
- Exposure to harmful substances (usually from inhalation)
- Fires/explosions (represented the lowest number of fatalities during this period)
Young Worker Statistics
Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- For the 10 year period from 1998 to 2007, there was an annual average of 795,000 nonfatal injuries to young workers treated in U.S. hospitals.
- In 2009, 359 workers less than 24 years of age died from work-related injuries, including 27 deaths of youth less than 18 years of age.
- Fatal work injuries among workers 17 years of age and younger average 68 per year.
- The rate for ER treated occupational injuries of young workers (14-24) is approximately two times higher than among workers 25 years and older.
Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney
At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been the victim of a serious injury, contact our offices. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends.