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Teens at work: work-related injuries to teens in Massachusetts, 2001-2005.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program
Boston, MA: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2010 Jan; :1-8
An estimated 80% of teens in the U.S are employed at some point during high school.(1) Although teen employment has declined from its peak in 1999, youth continue to be a vital part of the workforce in Massachusetts as well as the country as a whole. In 2007, an estimated 25% of 15- to 17-year-olds in Massachusetts were employed at any given point in time.(2) While today's increasing unemployment rate means fewer teens may be working, we still rely on youth in many industries and need to ensure that the jobs in which youth are employed are safe. Employment can provide many benefits for youth. In addition to income, work offers teens the opportunity to learn job skills, to explore future careers, and in some cases to enhance their academic education. However, working teens also face health and safety risks. In the U.S. in 2006, 157,000 teens less than 18 years of age were injured at work, over 52,000 teens sought care in emergency departments for work-related injuries, and 30 were killed.(3) In fact, teen workers have a higher rate of non-fatal injuries per hour worked than adults.(1) This is, in part, explained by the types of jobs they do; many of the jobs in which teens are commonly employed have higher than average risks for workers of all ages. Inexperience, lack of safety training, and inadequate supervision, as well as developmental factors - physical and psychological - may also increase risks for young workers.(4) Information about where and how young workers are injured on the job is essential to develop effective prevention strategies and to promote safe work opportunities for youth. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (MDPH) Teens at Work: Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project (TAW) collects data on work-related injuries to teens less than 18 years of age from emergency departments (ED) and workers' compensation (WC) claims. These data, along with information collected from interviews with injured teens, are used to develop educational materials for both teens and adults who work with teens, and guide prevention activities.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Adolescents; Surveillance-programs; Employee-health; Occupations; Information-systems; Health-care; Mortality-data; Emergency-care; Statistical-analysis; Humans; Workers; Work-environment; Traumatic-injuries; Public-health; Health-protection; Training; Risk-factors; Hazards; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Food-services; Safety-education; Work-practices; Industrial-safety; Industrial-environment; Age-factors
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Teens at Work: Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project, 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Teens at work: work-related injuries to teens in Massachusetts, 2001-2005
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health - Boston
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division