Workers between 15 and 24 years old are TWICE as likely to be seriously injured on the job in this country, reports the Center for Disease Control in a new study, released this week. And, lots of them are dying from on the job injuries, as well.
The Most Dangerous Jobs for Young Workers
According to the CDC, young workers are at the biggest risk of on the job work injury or death if they are working within the services industry (32%), doing construction work (28%), working wholesale and retail trade jobs (10%), or doing agriculture work (10%). They faced the highest risk of dying when working in in mining (36.5 per 100,000 FTE), agriculture (21.3 per 100,000 FTE), and construction (10.9 per 100,000 FTE).
Employers Told by Feds — Do More to Protect Young Workers
The federal agency warns employers that they need to take heed to this study, and do more to protect these young workers.
Specifically, the Report states:
The primary responsibility for workplace safety lies with employers (8). Thus, reductions in younger worker injuries and deaths will require employers to make changes in work environments and workplace practices….
Employers should assess injury hazards in their workplaces, take steps to remove or reduce the injury potential, and ensure their workers have the requisite training and personal protective equipment to perform their jobs safely. Employers should be aided by health and safety practitioners, as well as others, in providing better guidance and tools to improve young worker safety.
Reality Check: Will Employers Comply With the CDC Report?
What that warning to employers means to most companies today is allotting more money towards workplace safety. Entering into the second quarter of 2010, does anyone really expect employers — especially in the most dangerous injuries — to revamp their budgets to protect their youngest employees?
Companies are looking for ways to cut costs, not add to them. So, while this report is helpful and it would be wise to take heed of its warning, odds are high that nothing much is going to happen here. And young workers will continue to be seriously injured — and die — when on the job, just doing their work.
Bottom line? Perhaps the best use of this report will be as an injured plaintiff’s exhibit in a personal injury trial.