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.
Working Together to Prevent Falls Among Older Adults posted on Sep 22
Falls among older adults (age 65+) are a major public health challenge. In Massachusetts, there are nearly 50,000 emergency room visits each year for fall-related injuries. These injuries, which can include broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, are also very expensive to treat. In 2014, …Continue Reading Working Together to Prevent Falls Among Older Adults
Got Temp Workers? Make Sure They’re Trained posted on Sep 20
When you say ‘temp worker’, many people picture a receptionist filling in while a company’s employee is on vacation or out sick. Back in the day that was what the temp industry looked like. (I remember working as a temp in an office during summer …Continue Reading Got Temp Workers? Make Sure They’re Trained
Highlights of the September 14th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Sep 14
The September 14th meeting of the Public Health Council included a vote on one Determination of Need request, followed by a series of information presentations on the current status of various proposed regulatory amendments. First, the Council took up a Determination of Need application from Nantucket …Continue Reading Highlights of the September 14th Public Health Council Meeting