Preventing injuries to working teens
While work can provide many benefits to youth besides income — opportunities to take on new responsibilities, learn job skills, explore future careers, and in some cases, improve academic skills — it can also pose health and safety risks.
On average, every year in Massachusetts, over 450 teens go to the emergency department for work-related injuries and 125 file workers’ compensation claims because they were injured badly enough to miss five or more work days. And those are only the injuries that get reported.
The MDPH report, Teens at Work: Work-Related Injuries to Teens in MA 2006-2010 (DOC), provides an overview of these work-related injuries, as well as a closer look at the surveillance system that identifies them and how this data has made a difference over the years.
While teens need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities on the job, the ultimate responsibility for protecting them falls on employers to provide workplaces free of known hazards, health and safety training, and adequate supervision. Educators, parents, and other adults involved in youth employment or the healthy development of teens also play a critical role.
To learn more, view our many educational materials in multiple languages, including the following:
- Everyone: Child Labor Laws in Massachusetts Poster (DOC)
- Employers: Employer Tips for Keeping Young Workers Safe on the Job (DOC)
- Parents: Protecting You Working Teen: A Guide for Parents (DOC)
- Teachers: Youth @ Work: Talking Safety Curriculum
Here’s to healthy, safe jobs for our Massachusetts teens, and teens nationwide.