(For further information about teen workers, see "Protecting Vulnerable Workers.")
Eighty percent of U.S. teenagers work during their high school years. In 2001, 45,000 teens were injured at work, and 175 died as a result of an on the job injury.
To address this challenge, numerous federal agencies, collectively known as the Federal Network for Young Worker Safety and Health (FedNet), have joined together to educate teens, their parents, counselors and employers on how young people can stay safe on the job.
FedNet's latest web-based product, Teen Summer Jobs: Safety Pays, is available at www.osha.gov/teens. It provides teen worker safety and health materials in English and Spanish. Topics covered include safe driving, lawn care, life guarding, farm work, construction, parks and recreation and restaurants.
"This new resource will help teen-agers get the information necessary to keep them safe on the job," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "By providing practical information on a wide range of work activities, we can help ensure that young people have safe and healthy work experiences."
There are five basic things teens can do to help reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses:
- Talk to their employers;
- Know their workplace rights;
- Stay alert and work safe;
- Get safety and health training; and
- Find and follow practical safety tips like those found on FedNet's web site.
The nine FedNet agencies committed to coordinating their efforts to help reduce work-related injuries and illnesses among teen-age workers include the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Education, Health & Human Services, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.