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A five-most-dangerous job for teens: Construction and height work

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics fatality records, construction and roofing are two of the ten most dangerous jobs in America. In 2014, 20.5 percent of all work fatalities—essentially one in five—were in construction, accounting for 874 deaths. A construction worker is nearly three times as likely to die from a work accident as the average American worker.

The leading causes of death on construction sites are falls, electrocution, getting struck by object, and getting caught in-between (a broad category that include cave-ins, getting pulling into machinery, and getting hit by machinery.) These four causes accounted for nearly six in 10 deaths.

An 18-year-old worker was killed when a silo collapsed at this construction site in 2015.

An 18-year-old worker was killed when a silo collapsed at this construction site in 2015.

Young workers are especially at risk given their relative inexperience on work sites and commonplace dangers construction sites often pose. According to NIOSH in 2002, youth 15-17 working in construction had greater than seven times the risk for fatal injury as youth in other industries. In a 2003 release, NIOSH noted that despite only employing 3 percent of youth workers, construction was the third leading cause of death for young workers—responsible for 14 percent of all occupational deaths to youth under 18.

Labor laws limit the work of 16-and 17-year-olds in construction, but we know from news reports that teens are doing hazardous work and getting hurt.

In June 2009, a 9-year-old Alabama boy at a construction site fell through a skylight and was seriously injured. Press reports did not reveal if the boy was actually working, but according to state inspectors his presence at a site at which minors are prohibited from working is considered evidence of employment under the law.… Read the rest

Traveling Youth Crews Performing Door-to-Door Sales–One of the Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens in the U.S.

The startling discovery of the remains of a long-missing 18-year-old girl, Jennifer Hammond, in October 2009, served as a painful reminder that traveling door-to-door sales jobs are very dangerous. A Littleton, Colorado native, Hammond had last been seen in 2009 in a mobile home park in Milton, New York. She failed to show up at a designated pick-up spot two hours later. A hunter found her remains in a forest in Saratoga County, New York six years later.

Parents should not allow their children to take a traveling sales job. The dangers are too great. Without parental supervision, teens are at too great a risk of being victimized. Traveling sales crew workers are typically asked to go to the doors of strangers and sometimes enter their homes—a very dangerous thing for a young person to do.

Under pressure and scrutiny from advocacy groups and state law enforcement entities, it appears that the traveling sales sector today rarely hires individuals under 18. However, in recent years, there have been isolated reports of minors–and more frequent reports of 18- to 21-year-olds–being hired.

Frequent crime reports involving traveling sales crews suggests that the environment they present is not a safe one for teen workers or young adults.

In March 2011, two men in Spartanburg County South Carolina called police and asked them to take them to jail because jail seemed like it would be better alternative than the traveling sales crew they were in. Vincent Mercento, 19, and Adam Bassi, 21, told police they needed to quit going door to door asking people to buy magazines. They said they were tired of being wet and selling magazines and tired of the abuse from the company that employed them which seemed “cult-like.” Their lives were so bad they thought jail would be better.

How Dangerous are Traveling Sales Crews?

In February 2011, Columbia County Georgia authorities arrested a traveling sales crew of 17 individuals for peddling without a license. Five of the arrestees had criminal records, including one individual on probation for child molestation, another with a conviction for statutory rape, and a third for not registering as a sex offender. Would you want your son or daughter to travel in such company?

All 17 individuals were crowded into one van. With vehicular accidents being one of the most common causes of death for young people, NCL urges teens not to accept any job like those on a traveling sales crew that involves driving long distances or for long periods of time.

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Summer 2012 Job Outlook: Difficult Times for Job-Searching Teens

It’s that frightening time of year for many teenagers: school is about to let out and the search for a summer job is about to begin. Jobs for teens are an important part of youth development, providing both needed income and teaching valuable work skills. According to research in the January/Feburary 2011 issue of Child Development, teen jobs i decrease the likelihood the working teen will drop out of school—as long as teens work 20 hours or less each week during the school year—and increase future earnings [Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies].

This year–as in recent years–too many teens are competing for too few jobs. Although last year saw some improvement in the summer teen job market, the number of jobs for teens has not returned to pre-recession levels and nationally averages 24.9 percent—one in four youth who wants to work cannot find a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among 16- to 24-year-old workers, only 48.8 percent were employed in July 2010—the lowest rate since the government started tracking the number in 1948.

In some states, the battle to find a job is particularly tough. In California, 36.2 percent of teen workers cannot find jobs; in the District of Columbia, 51.7 percent. If one factors in the teens who have become discouraged about finding a job and who have stopped looking, nearly every state experiences a jump in their teen unemployment rates, according to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI)

“Although the jobs outlook has improved slightly for summer 2012, teens searching for summer employment are still faced with more competition and less opportunity than past generations,” said Michael Saltsman, a research fellow at the EPI.… Read the rest

ASSE Rolls Out Its New Target Teen Work Safety Tools Aimed At Preventing Work Injuries, Illnesses

[from www.safetyonline.com]

March 3, 2011

American Society of Safety Engineers roll out new target teen safety kit aimed at preventing youth work injuries, illnesses

Des Plaines, IL – Slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, heavy lifting, loud noises and working alone are some of the dangers teens face as they experience a first job or seasonal employment. If not aware of the risk and properly trained and protected, these dangers can lead to serious injuries or fatalities for teen workers. To help teens stay safe at work, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has developed a new, comprehensive “Target Teen Work Safety” electronic tool kit (www.asse.org/teensafety) it is rolling out this month to ASSE chapters. Read more