Many teenagers take up summer jobs to have some pocket money, pay for college, or to gather some funds to buy a car.
Summer jobs do not just provide income for teenagers, it also gives them experience and teaches them many life lessons. However, considering the number of injuries teens suffer at their workplace, many parents think twice before letting their child take up that job at a fast-food restaurant or pizza delivery.
Maybe you have heard of cases where teenagers suffer burn injuries while working at fast-food restaurants. The main question here is why such accidents happen, and whether or not these teenagers are provided adequate training and protection. Too many teens suffer injuries at their place of work, and unfortunately, in many instances there isn’t much being done about it.
Statistics About Teen Injuries
You may be surprised to know that teenagers suffer workplace injuries twice as often as adults. This is primarily due to their inexperience with the equipment and tools they work with. Each year, almost 230,000 teenagers get injured on the job. Almost, 70,000 teenagers visit emergency rooms for treatment of work-related injuries. Sadly, around 70 teenagers die from workplace injuries.
The most common injuries that teens suffer are cuts, sprains, and burns. However, the more serious injuries that they suffer include broken bones, amputations, and concussions. In many instances, the main causes of these work-related injuries are stressful conditions, unsafe equipment, and inadequate safety training.
Why Are Teenagers Vulnerable to Workplace Injuries?
As we said, inexperience is the biggest reason why teenagers get injured in the workplace. However, they are also vulnerable, because they are often insecure about asking questions and clearing doubts. They trust authority and they are afraid of asking questions. Also, compared to adults, teenagers are more likely to believe that their employer would not make them do things that can put them in harm’s way. They abstain from asking questions as it may make them appear incompetent. Teenagers are also more afraid of getting fired. Unfortunately, some employers take advantage of these teenagers and do not provide them adequate training. They may ask them to do jobs that they know older and more experienced workers would refuse to do because of the hazards involved.
Legal Rights of Teen Workers in Missouri
If you are a teenager who has been injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. The first step to securing workers compensation benefits is to notify the employer about your injury. This should be done immediately after the injury, and without any fear of reprisal or retaliation.