Work injuries are responsible for an average of 70 teen deaths annually, and emergency rooms see approximately 70,000 teen patients as a result of work-related accidents. Though overall teen work injuries have decreased since the early 2000s, they have begun to climb again over the last two years.

Traumatic injuries suffered by adolescents can result in lifelong physical and emotional issues. As teenagers venture into the workforce, proper training is essential to a safe work environment. Employers are responsible for educating new workers on ways to prevent common accidents, such as slips, falls, and burns. Lack of experience plays a significant role in teen workplace accidents. In addition to simply being young, teens may not get adequate training for jobs, since teen-friendly occupations typically have a high turnover rate.

Fast Food Employment

Employment in the fast food industry is one of the most common jobs for teens. However, the fast-paced environment combined with complicated cooking equipment presents a potentially dangerous scenario. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that burn injuries for young employees are six times greater than in any other industry. According to their research, gender may also affect the type of injury suffered. Young males experience significantly more burns and lacerations while cooking. Hot grease is responsible for more than 50 percent of documented burns. Female employees, on the other hand, tend to suffer more contusions and sprains from table service and cashiering tasks. Wet or greasy floors are the cause of more than half of all slip and fall injuries in fast food establishments.

What Teens Should Know

Teens entering the workforce should be aware of the basic expectations and rules of employment. As this may be a teen’s first job, speaking up in certain situations may be difficult at first. Learning to ask for help or to express concern can be an empowering experience for an adolescent. Parents should encourage their children to

● Know their rights and responsibilities
● Talk to employers regarding any safety concerns
● Approach employers with questions about customers and new duties
● Be alert while working
● Be prepared for an emergency
● Keep work area clean and organized

Employer Responsibilities

Responsible employers should provide safety training for the type of work a young employee will be performing. Most states require employers to provide some form of rules and policy documentation to all new hires. Quality supervision is extremely important for all teen workers, as they lack experience. Every step employers take toward educating young workers lowers the risk of serious injury or death.

Petro Cohen, P.C. – Accident and Injury Attorneys

If your teenage child has been injured on the job, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Petro Cohen, P.C. understands the physical, emotional, and financial burden that often accompanies work injuries, especially when they involve your child. As a respected law firm with significant workers’ compensation experience, we can help you get compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other associated costs. Our knowledgeable, dedicated legal team treats every client as a unique individual. Contact Petro Cohen for a free consultation about your case.