There were roughly 17.5 million young workers in the U.S. in 2010 under the age of 24. These workers account for about 15 percent of the entire country's workforce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This group consistently has the highest rate for work-related injuries in Boston and elsewhere. This can generally be explained by the hazards present in the job positions that these young workers are most likely to hold, such as those in the restaurant industry. Restaurant workers face risks associated with sharp utensils, slippery floors and food preparation equipment. Often, inexperience can play a contributing role in these accidents. Many of these young workers, in middle school and in high school, face obstacles associated with biologic and psychosocial characteristics that can hinder their safety of the job. Oftentimes, these workers suffer from inadequate fit, strength and cognitive abilities to operate certain machinery and equipment.
Our Massachusetts teen work accident attorneys understand that nearly 360 young workers died because of on-the-job work-related injuries in 2009. There were 30 deaths of workers under the age of 18 included in these injuries statistics. From 1998 to 2007, there were about 795,000 injuries to these young employees nationwide. All of these injuries resulted in a trip to the emergency room. This means that these young workers have a rate for injury that was about two times higher than the rate for older workers in the country. This is why it's important to talk with your teen about work-related injury risks, especially as they will soon be seeking out summer jobs.
According to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Healthy People objective is a program aiming to reduce the risks of work-related injuries for these young workers. Its goal is to reduce the number of injuries by at least 10 percent by 2020.
Right now, there is a teen injured on the job every 9 minutes. We're asking parents to talk with their teens about the rights they are entitled to as a worker in the U.S. and the risks they need to be on the lookout for. With a thorough education regarding work standards, we can help to reduce the risks for on-the-job injuries for these young employees.
What are your rights at work?
-To work in a healthy and safe place that is free from known dangers.
-To be provided with the proper training for the job.
-To say "no" to jobs and work that can make you sick or can hurt you.
-To earn minimum wage. The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $8 hourly, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
-To be compensated for medical care (for most jobs) if you get sick or injured on the job. You may also be paid for the work you missed as a result of the sickness or the injury.
-To work without being treated poorly, unfairly or being harassed because of national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, skin color, race, genetic information or disability.
-Ask for changes to your workplace because of your religious beliefs or a medical condition.
-Assist someone who is inspecting or investigating your place of work. You cannot be fired or reprimanded for giving this kind of help.
The Massachusetts workers' compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC are dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured workers in Boston, Quincy, Norwood, Taunton and elsewhere throughout the Greater Boston Area. If you or the young worker in your family has suffered a work-related injury and would like to file a disability claim, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-877-617-5333.
More Blog Entries:
Company Fined for Failing to Reduce Risks of Work Accidents in New England, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 9, 2012
Office Workers Also at Serious Risks for Work-Related Injuries in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyers Blog, February 6, 2012