OSHA Launches Youth Job Safety Campaign

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao kicked off OSHA's national 2008 Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign on NBC’s “Today” show at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where the agency and teens demonstrated safe work practices for some of the most common tasks youth workers are likely to encounter in their summer jobs.

“The Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign educates teenagers on the importance of workplace safety and health habits that will help protect them and their coworkers at work,” Chao said.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), approximately 2.4 million adolescents aged 16 to 17 years worked in the United States in 2006. Because of their biological, social and economic characteristics, young workers have unique and substantial risks for work-related injuries and illnesses, NIOSH said. In 2006, 30 youth under the age of 18 died from work-related injuries. In 2003, an estimated 54,800 work-related injuries and illnesses among youth under 18 were treated in hospital emergency departments.

OSHA and its regional partners will host and participate in local events around the country to help keep teenagers safe and healthy on the job. Activities include career fairs, youth programs, expos, career days and training seminars. Through working with many strong national and regional Alliance Program participants and other cooperative programs, OSHA said it plans to reach more than three million teens.

“Programs like the Teen Summer Job Safety Campaign help create a culture of safety,” said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. “Our goal is to continue to drive down the number of occupational injuries among teens, especially in the construction industry.”

The campaign is part of OSHA’s Young Worker Initiative, which provides information and resources to teenagers, parents, educators and employers to ensure safe and rewarding work experiences for these summer employees. More information about workplace safety for teens is available at http://www.osha.gov/teens.

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