Nonfatal injury rates for teenagers in Massachusetts is nearly twice that of workers who are at least 25 years old, and nearly half of teen workers who were injured on the job from 2011 to 2015 did not receive health and safety training from their employers, according to a report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
For more than 25 years, the Young Workers: Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has tracked work-related injuries to teens under age 18, and has collaborated with partners on a variety of initiatives to prevent injuries to working teens. The latest report involved interviews with 156 teens injured at work from 2011 to 2015.
Four industries accounted for more than 70 percent of all work-related injuries involving teenagers in the state – accommodation and food service, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and construction.
Traumatic brain injuries were reported in 44 percent of 81 workers’ compensation claims, with restaurants being the most common workplace for head injuries to occur, followed by grocery stores.
Open wounds made up 48 percent of all work-related injuries that sent kids to the emergency room. Sprains and strains were the most common injury resulting in workers compensation lost wage claims.
“Continued efforts are needed to ensure jobs in which teens are employed are safe,” the annual report states. “And as we engage teens in the workplace – whether as employers, schools, job programs, or parents with family businesses – we need to provide them with basic health and safety skills that will help protect them now and in the future.”
Safety and Health Magazine
Massachusetts Department of Public Health