Guide 2020 MA Safe Jobs for Youth Poster Contest

All Massachusetts teens aged 14 to 19 are invited to apply their knowledge about workplace safety and health in the 2020 MA Safe Jobs for Youth Poster Contest sponsored by the Massachusetts Youth Employment and Safety Team (YES Team) and the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH). This contest has been successful in the creation of posters that have highlighted the importance of workplace safety and health for teens. We can’t wait to see your new ideas!

Table of Contents

Why a poster contest?

Collage of the ten poster contest finalists
2019 poster contest finalists

Jobs provide youth with opportunities to gain experience, explore different careers, and make some money. Unfortunately many teens are injured on the job. In fact, teens have nearly double the rate of work-related injuries than adults. The Young Workers Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been collecting data since 1993 to better understand where and how teens are being injured so that we can work with partners to prevent future injuries. Some things we’ve learned from talking with teens about workplace health and safety is that many are not receiving adequate health and safety training from their employers; many teens are working without adequate supervision; and many teens expect to have permanent effects from these injuries that occur at work.

The Poster Contest has been a way of asking teens to help promote safer work for themselves and their peers. Your poster should raise awareness about the importance of workplace safety for young workers, so it can be shared with communities across the state. Below are some tips to help you get started

Contest process

Submissions must be postmarked by Monday, November 25, 2019
  1. Be creative. What do you picture when you think about work safety? Think of ways teen workers can make a difference or raise awareness (e.g., recognize hazards, get training, know your rights).
  2. Develop a slogan. What kind of message would reach your peers? In your own words, in any language*, come up with a phrase or sentence about the importance of safety for young workers. Be sure to use the word “teen” or “youth” in your slogan and “work” or “job” (or other synonyms) in your poster.
    *Note: If the poster is written in a language that is not English, an English translation must be included with the submission.
  3. Design your poster. Merge your creative idea and your slogan together into an original poster no larger than 11 x 17 inches.
  4. Submit your Poster! Read the poster contest rules for full information on how to submit. The required forms can be downloaded below.
    • Mail submissions to:
      Cecilia Luján
      250 Washington St.
      4th Floor
      Boston, MA 02108-4619

Contest forms

Poster contest prizes

Shape up. Look up. Speak up.
2019 winner was created by Elizabeth Trull
  • First place wins $500*
  • Second place wins $300*
  • Third place wins $100*
  • The winning poster will be seen across the state. (Past winners were on public transportation!)
  • Finalists will be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 11, 2020

* Funded by Commonwealth Corporation

Poster contest rules

  1. All entries must be original artwork created by a high school-aged Massachusetts teen (14-19) not enrolled in post-secondary education. A participant may enter the contest only once. Note: Teens do not need to be enrolled in high school to enter the contest.
  2. Each submission must be accompanied by a completed Poster Contest Entry & Release Form, available on this website.
  3. The participant’s full name and town must be written in the lower right-hand corner on the back of the poster.
  4. The poster must be related to workplace safety and health in some way.
  5. If the poster is written in a language that is not English, an English translation must be included with the submission.
  6. When constructing your poster, please remember:
    • Check your spelling and grammar! Posters with errors cannot be used.
    • A clear message goes a long way! Visit (feel free to include this URL in your poster) to learn more about important job safety information. Use your research to help you stay on topic.
    • Use any media you choose to create your poster—pen & ink, original photos, paint, collage, computer graphics, etc.
    • Do not use copyrighted material, including cartoon characters such as The Simpsons, Spongebob, etc.
    • We are looking for positive, teen-specific messages as well as high-quality artwork to share with other youth!
  7. If you are going to use statistics on the poster, make sure to include the source in your entry form.
  8. Entries must be no smaller than 8.5 x 11” and no larger than 11 x 17.”
  9. Entries must be done on paper that will allow for duplication, display, and framing.
  10. Entries should not be matted, mounted, laminated, framed, or folded.
  11. Submit your entry to Cecilia Lujan. Complete mailing information:
    • Cecilia Luján
      250 Washington St.
      4th Floor
      Boston, MA 02108-4619
2013 Winning Poster
2013 winner was created by Shari Cote

Workplace Health and Safety Resources

Image credits:  (Banner) "Speak up. Speak out. If you see something unsafe in your workplace, tell someone." This 2011 winner was created by Jane Adams.