Many teenagers in New York and the rest of the nation will be seeking summertime jobs. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that in 2015, 13 percent of the labor force, or 19.1 million workers, were under the age of 24. While working during the summer may seem like a good idea, both teenagers and their parents should know that teenagers may sustain workplace injuries.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, insufficient safety training, inadequate management and dangerous equipment are just some of the workplace hazards to which younger workers are exposed. In 2015, there were 403 people under the age of 24 who died as a result of injuries incurred on the job. From 1998 to 2007, on an annual basis, hospitals in the United States treated an average of 795,000 non-life threatening injuries sustained by younger workers.
In the state of Washington, cuts, strains and sprains were the most frequent injuries sustained by teenagers in the workplace, according to a report from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Recent data has shown that the number of workplace injuries for teenagers in the state has risen, with 675 teenagers who were 17 years of age or younger reporting such injuries in 2016.
OSHA details some of the workplace risks younger workers may face at specific jobs. For example, those working in grocery or retail establishments may be hurt from lifting heavy objects, while using certain machinery or on slippery floors.
Teenage workers who sustain work-related injuries may be entitled to workers’ compensation. A personal injury attorney may assist with filing for benefits for injuries sustained from repetitive stress, occupational diseases or a construction site accident. The benefits may be used to recoup lost wages and may be applied to medical expenses.