The spring weather has finally arrived – and with it, thoughts of summertime. Beach days, Red Sox games, vacations. And let’s not forget, summer jobs for the Massachusetts youth out there.
I still remember some of my summer (and all year round) jobs as a teen: a locker room attendant, working around slippery floors and with cleaning chemicals; a movie theater usher, assigned to trash duty and heavy supply runs downstairs; a photo lab assistant breathing in photo processing chemicals all day. But oh, the skills I learned and the money I saved!
Every teen job has hazards that accompany its rewards, yet thinking back, I don’t recall getting safety-specific training in any of my jobs. And I don’t think I’m alone in that experience.
That’s part of why Governor Patrick declared May 2014 ‘Young Worker Safety Month.’ It’s a time for everyone – employers, parents and other adults – to think about how to best prepare Massachusetts young workers for fulfilling and safe summer job experiences.
DPH’s Teens at Work Project recently released its annual report to help do just that. Available online, the 2014 Surveillance Update gives a glimpse of work-related injuries to young people in the Commonwealth.
A special focus in this year’s report is injuries to young adult workers ages 18-24, also a popular group for summer jobs and a group at high risk for injuries on the job. It makes me think of my first job after high school, working late nights in a movie theater box office in the middle of New York City. Again, no safety training! And despite the times I felt nervous interacting with angry customers, as a young worker I wanted to make a good impression so I never felt comfortable asking for help. Another experience likely shared by many young people.
Don’t we owe it to young workers to provide them with a head start on safety? Let’s keep our teens safe while they’re on the job!
As spring lifts our spirits and school winds down, let’s not forget about summer jobs. Massachusetts young workers are counting on us for the support.
Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference posted on Jul 25
In the six years from 2008 through 2013, 356 workers died on the job in Massachusetts. This is about one worker every five days! The MDPH CFOI and MA FACE projects developed this infographic to illustrate these tragic worker deaths and to underscore the human costs …Continue Reading Some Workers Face Higher Risk of Injury – But Employers Can Make a Difference
Making Your Summer POP! posted on Jul 19
Few things are better than an ice-cold popsicle on a hot summer day! I have vivid memories from my childhood running around through the sprinkler and various neighbors’ yards enjoying the summer sun. At that age, having a messy red ring around your mouth from …Continue Reading Making Your Summer POP!
Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces posted on Jul 18
Wellness programs are good for business. They can lead to better performing workers, lower absenteeism and decreased healthcare and insurance costs. Now, small businesses can be rewarded for these efforts! The Massachusetts Wellness Tax Credit Incentive gives small businesses in Massachusetts a state tax credit …Continue Reading Massachusetts is Rewarding Small Businesses for Healthy Workplaces