Some startling news is coming out of Wisconsin this regarding teens who are injured on the job:
One out of six working teens reported having been injured on the job in a new survey that found some youths were in hazardous occupations they should have been legally barred from because of their age.
The study, published in the September-October issue of the American Journal of Health Behavior, was based on results of a questionnaire completed by more than 6,800 Wisconsin high school students in 2003.
One in six, that seems pretty high. What type of work are they doing?
Teens were most likely to be injured in: lumber mills (51 percent); lumber yards (40 percent); gas stations (36 percent); someone else’s farm (36 percent); and construction (30 percent).
“Developing programs and strategies to reduce injury must be made a priority,” Kristina M. Zierold, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winton-Salem, N.C., said in a prepared statement.
She noted that on-the-job training usually falls far short of what’s needed and that there are no standards governing safety training.
The study does indicate the the majority of students are not in these type jobs, but the amount of time spent working caught my eye:
The survey found the teens working from just five hours a week to more than 40 hours a week. About 16 percent of those who worked reported putting in more than 23 hours a week, and 159, or 4 percent, said they clocked out after 11 on school nights.
“We surmise that working later hours may involve circumstances that place teens at greater risk for occupational injury,” Zierold said. Late at night, after managers have gone home, “teens may be asked to perform more prohibited or hazardous tasks than when supervisors are present.”
So, teens are working long hours in dangerous situations with inadequate training. Are we really surprised they are getting hurt?