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Safer Healthier Workers

Selected Category: Young Workers

Preventing Wood Chipper Fatalities

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Engineering Control, Service Sector, Young Workers

 

Commercial Wood Chipper

Commercial Wood Chipper. Photo ©Thinkstock

Last week, a 19-year-old North Carolina teen was killed after being pulled feet first into a wood chipper (see news report).  It was his first day on the job.Self-feeding mobile wood chippers commonly used during tree trimming operations consist of a feed mechanism, knives mounted on a rotating chipper disc or drum, and a power plant. Tree branches and trunk sections fed manually into the machine’s infeed hopper are grabbed by the feed mechanism or chipper knives. The chipper disc or drum, rotating between 1,000 and 2,000 rpm, cuts and propels wood chips through the discharge spout usually into a chip truck. The housing containing the chipper disc or drum is sectioned and includes a removable hood that allows access to machine components for maintenance.

“Safety Matters” —Bringing Work Safety and Health to the Classroom

Categories: Training, Young Workers

young worker_8 fw

Illustration by Chi-Yun Lau

Every day, young workers face injury, illness and even death on the job. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that about 1.5 million teenagers from 15 through 17 years old work in the United States. Studies show that nearly 8 of 10 high school students in the United States work at some point during their school years. Each year, about 60,000 of these young workers are injured seriously enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. Data also show that workers under age 25 are twice as likely as adults to be injured on the job.

Overlapping Vulnerabilities

Categories: Construction, Occupational Health Equity, Small Business, Young Workers

 

cvr2015-178cNot all workers have the same risk of being injured at work, even when they are in the same industry or have the same occupation. Different factors can make some workers more vulnerable than others to workplace illness or injury. These include social dynamics, such as age, race, class, and gender; economic trends, such as growth of the temporary workforce; and organizational factors, such as business size.

The term “occupational health disparities” refers to increased rates of work-related illness and injuries in particular vulnerable populations. A growing body of research explores how a particular characteristic—such as being an immigrant/foreign-born worker, a worker under the age of 25, or an employee of a small business—can increase an individu­al’s risk for workplace injury or illness, and it suggests effective ways to improve the safety and health of these workers.

Preventing Skin Cancer

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Cancer, Construction, Oil and Gas, Outdoor Work, Young Workers

sunAs the nation’s doctor, I recently launched a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer to address the rising rates of skin cancer in the U.S. While nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the U.S., with an annual cost of $8.1 billion, most cases are preventable. Although people with lighter skin are at higher risk, anyone can get skin cancer—and it can be disfiguring, even deadly. Sunburned and even tanned skin is damaged skin that can lead to skin cancer. That’s why this message is extremely important for individuals whose jobs require them to work outdoors.

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