Most Teen Worker Injuries Occur in Fast Food Restaurants

A NIOSH study reveals that approximately 44,800 teen restaurant industry workers were treated for occupational injuries over a two-year period.

Adolescent workers injured on the job in the restaurant industry are most likely to be working in fast food establishments, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Studying data from a national sample of hospitals over a two-year period, NIOSH estimated that approximately 44,800 occupational injuries to teen restaurant industry workers were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the U.S.

Of these injuries, approximately 28,000 (63 percent) occurred to teens employed in hamburger, pizza and other fast food establishments.

The study also found that adolescents working in the restaurant industry in general were at six times greater risk of sustaining a work-related burn injury than teens working in any other industry.

"As young people prepare to take temporary employment or work extra hours over the winter holidays, it is important to be aware that adolescents are injured on the job far too often," said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock. "All of us have key roles in preventing these injuries."

In general, the restaurant industry and other retail businesses rank high among U.S. industries for risk of adolescent worker injuries.

NIOSH said the findings of the study show a need for better training and other steps to protect young workers.

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