Young Workers Are Most Vulnerable to On-the-Job Injuries, Statistics Show

July 13, 2015

Workers who are younger than 25 years old are twice as likely to experience a work injury as those who are 25 and older, research from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revealed. In fact, according to OSHA’s numbers:

  • Although young workers are the most vulnerable to workplace injuries, there’s a lot that can be done to protect them, our Portland workers compensation lawyer explains.

    Although young workers are the most vulnerable to workplace injuries, there’s a lot that can be done to protect them, our Portland workers compensation lawyer explains.

    A young worker is injured on the job about every 9 or so minutes in the U.S.

  • In 2013 (the most recent year for which complete data is available), more than 330 young workers were killed on the job.

Given that young workers are the most vulnerable to workplace injuries and accidents, based on OSHA’s research, safety advocates and regulators have been focused on:

  • Informing these workers about their rights to safe workplaces
  • Educating them about the job-related risks they face and what they can do to reduce these risks.

What Are the Biggest Risks to Young Workers?

Although specific jobs come with their own set of risks (such as, for instance, construction jobs coming with the risk of falling accidents/injuries), in general, the risks that young people in the U.S. tend to face when they work include (but are by no means limited to):

  • A lack of safety training – This is essential for inexperienced workers who may not even realize what actions may be riskier than others when performing a job.
  • A lack of supervision, especially when these workers are performing new tasks (or just starting out on the job)
  • Exposure to unsafe equipment, such as industrial equipment they have little to no experience using
  • Pressure to work as fast as possible, which can be perceived or real, particularly when young workers are working alongside more experienced laborers.

How Can the Risks to Young Workers Be Reduced?

While the statistics regarding the injuries and deaths experienced by young workers are harrowing, the good news is that there are various things that can be done to reduce these risks and better protect our nation’s young workforce.

In particular, just some of these things include:

  • Providing young workers with the necessary safety training to perform a specific job
  • Providing workers with essential supervision and safety equipment
  • Making sure young workers understand a company’s safety program, as well as what should be done in the event of an accident, emergency or injury.

Elucidating the need to focus on protecting young workers, U.S. Senator Al Franken, D-Minnesota, has stated:

Young workers tend to be employed in some of our more dangerous workplaces and experience a disproportionate amount of workplace injuries…We need to prevent needless and tragic injuries and deaths and provide our younger workforce with the training and skills to protect themselves and others on the job.

Portland Workers Compensation Lawyer at the Savage Law Firm

Have you or someone you love been hurt on the job? If so, you can rely on a trusted Portland workers compensation lawyer at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy. Since 1977, our lawyers have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.

To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

Categories: Work Injuries