Group Warns Teens To Steer Clear of Five Worst Jobs

June 28, 2006
Summer has begun and teens everywhere are looking for ways to enter the work force. But according to the National Consumers League (NCL), which on June 21 released its list of the Five Worst Teen Jobs in 2006, young adults should be careful about the types of jobs they take.

Darlene Adkins, NCL vice president for fair labor standards policy, called for parents and teens alike to consider safety in summer youth employment.

"Don't let a summer dream job turn into a nightmare experience," said Adkins. "It's great to find a job, earn a little money to save and spend. But there's more to consider than a paycheck. First consider how to stay safe on the job."

The potential for injury on the job, especially for teenagers, is a serious one. Every 30 seconds, a young worker is injured on the job, and one teen dies from a workplace injury every 5 days. When the job market is tight, more teens are competing for fewer jobs and they may be more likely to ignore safety concerns.

This year's list includes both work that is currently prohibited for minors and work that should be prohibited, based on compelling statistics on occupational injury and death to working youth provided by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). According to NCL, five of the worst teen jobs in 2006 are:

  • Agriculture Fieldwork and processing
  • Construction and work in heights
  • Outside Helper Landscaping, groundskeeping and lawn service
  • Driver/Operator Forklifts, tractors and ATVs
  • Traveling youth crews

Reform Urged for Laws on Teen Employment

Three of five of the worst jobs detailed in this alert (construction and work in heights; agriculture and agricultural processing; and driver/operator of forklifts, tractors and ATVs) would be prohibited or have "protections strengthened" if the Department of Labor promulgated rules to implement the recommendations in the NIOSH report, "NIOSH Recommendations to the U.S. Department of Labor for Changes to Hazardous Orders," which reviews a list of prohibited occupations for minors.

The NIOSH report is a comprehensive review of the existing industries, occupations and machinery that is prohibited for working minors in both agricultural and non-agricultural employment.

NCL stated that some of these regulations have not been updated in more than 60 years, long before the rise of popular teen workplaces such as fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Since the release of the report in 2002, NIOSH has recommended 17 new Hazardous Orders. As of yet, the Labor Department has not acted on the recommendations.

NCL compiles the five worst teen jobs each year using government statistics and reports, results from the Child Labor Coalition's annual survey of state labor departments, and news accounts of injuries and deaths. Statistics and examples of injuries for each job on the list are detailed in a report available at

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Free Webinar: Mining & ESG: The Sustainability Mandate

March 28, 2024
Participants in this webinar will understand the business drivers and challenges of ESG and sustainability performance, the 5 steps of the ESG and sustainability cycle, and prioritized...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!