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Sara Rattigan picPosted by Sara Rattigan, Health Communications Specialist in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program.

This April and May have been packed with events all about making workplaces safer for Massachusetts teens.

  • First, Governor Patrick proclaimed May 2012 to be Young Worker Safety Month, an important reminder that everyone has a role to play in keeping our youth safe on the job. 
  • The DPH Teens at Work project released its annual surveillance report on work-related injuries to teens;
  • Our community partner, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (MassCOSH), held its annual three-day LEAPS Academy to help build leadership skills in youth around workplace health and safety

But most exciting, the Massachusetts Youth Employment & Safety Team (YES Team) and MassCOSH once again teamed up to sponsor the second annual Safe Jobs for Youth Poster Contest. We called on teens from across the state to design posters that stress the importance of safety on the job for young people. 

In addition to being blown away by the amount of creativity and talent here in the Commonwealth, we always learn so much from hearing (and seeing) what teens have to say about this important issue. So we were thrilled to receive 120 contest entries. From those, we took 12 finalist posters on the road to a series of youth groups and events across the state and asked them to help us judge the winners. Judging groups included the JAG Network in Milford, the Brockton Mayor’s Youth Council, LEAD in Holyoke, Design & Visual Communications at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, STARs at Cambridge Rindge & Latin, and the MassCOSH Teens Lead at Work (TL@W) Peer Leaders in Boston. An extra special thanks to these groups for participating!

The contest winners were announced at an awards ceremony on April 26, during MassCOSH’s LEAPS academy. We were honored to have State Senator Patricia Jehlen, sponsor to the 2007 Massachusetts child labor reform, join us as the keynote speaker and present the contest winners with their awards.

Poster Winners
Photo by MassCOSH: Winners, TL@W organizers and State Senator Jehlen showcase three of the winning posters.

So please, take a moment to see what Massachusetts teens have to say about “Safe Jobs for Youth.” Check out the winning posters and keep an eye out for top prize winner on a bus or subway near you!

And finally – especially with the summer jobs season nearly here – please help us to spread the word about keeping Massachusetts teens safe on the job. As you can see, it’s definitely something to speak out about!

 

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health communication writer and editor

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