The Board of Certified Safety Professionals has teamed up with OSHA to help promote youth workplace safety in the month of April using #MySafeSummerJob.
Did you know every nine minutes a teenager is injured on the job and every year nearly 70 teens die while working? Young workers, ages 15-25, are one of the most vulnerable groups in the workforce and are injured at a rate nearly double that of workers 25 years and older. This is primarily due to the types of industries young workers are employed in and the working conditions present in those industries.
The top industries in summer youth employment are retail, construction, and leisure and hospitality. The leisure and hospitality sector accounts for 48% of teenage workers and is where most injuries and illnesses occur. Nearly 38% of teens injured on the job work in the leisure and hospitality sector, with the retail trade accounting for 21% of injuries.
These injuries are largely avoidable! Most occur because of unsafe equipment, improper training, stressful conditions, and pressure to work faster. It’s important that the youth know how to diagnose potential hazards, and that their employers are aware of the hazards young workers face.
You can become a part of the solution!
Education is a key defense against workplace accidents. Knowing what a hazard is and looks like, and how to mitigate hazards is crucial in preventing workplace accidents.
A hazard is something that can harm you physically or psychologically. Examples include toxic chemicals in cleaning products, blood, slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, sharp objects, heavy lifting, heat, etc. OSHA has compiled a comprehensive list of information regarding youth safety. Below is a list of some of the tools and resources offered at MySafeSummerJob.org, be sure to visit the site for more information:
- Teen Workers: Real Jobs, Real Risks – A short video detailing one girl’s workplace injury that changed her life.
- Hazards Activity Page – An interactive site where the user can learn about hazards by clicking on pictures.
- Teen Worker Facts – A factsheet about teen workers.
Safety starts with awareness, yet that is just the beginning. Creating and maintaining a safe work environment requires specialized knowledge and skills, and industries with high potential for incidents have dedicated safety professionals. It’s a thriving, global career that is growing every day!
Below is a list and short description of tools and resources BCSP offers that can help assist students in choosing a career in safety:
- Career Paths in Safety – a portion of the BCSP website which contains helpful information on ways to enter the safety field.
- Academic Database – a searchable database which contains information on universities in the United States with programs in the safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) sectors.
- Youth Safety Initiative – The BCSP Foundation’s pillar of belief that safety is the essential link that secures our future via addressing safety concerns of the youth workforce.
“There are no limits to what you can do in the safety field! I had no idea I would get to experience so many fun and exciting opportunities because of my job,” says Stephanie Claus, GSP a graduate from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Safety Management who currently serves as a Health & Safety Specialist at Rutgers University. “The most gratifying part of my job is being able to use my safety knowledge to help faculty, staff, and students accomplish their goals.”
Stay safe with MySafeSummerJob.org and continue striving to meet your goals, maybe even as a safety professional!