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Safer Healthier Workers

Selected Category: Young Workers

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.

National Doughnut Day

Categories: Ergonomics, Respiratory Health, Service Sector, Young Workers

Whether you are celebrating National Doughnut Day today with the traditional glazed or a trendy bacon-infused delicacy, take a moment to think about those who bring you these sugary breakfast treats.  We are not passing judgment nor endorsing your breakfast selection (that question is better addressed by you and your nutritionist) but instead encouraging all of us to consider the potential health risks faced by those workers who make the 10 billion doughnuts produced every year in the U.S.[i]. Lest you think we are killing your doughnut-induced sugar buzz, you should know that the first National Doughnut Day was created for workers.  The Salvation Army created the day in 1938 to “honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.”[ii]

You Can Help Keep Your Kids Safe at Work

Categories: Manufacturing, Service Sector, Training, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Young Workers

Are you the parent of a teen or young adult?  Chances are he or she is looking for or has found a summer job.  Work provides teenagers with job skills, independence, and unique experiences that help them transition to adulthood. Despite the benefits of work for young people, a number of hazards exist in the work environment that put them at risk for injury, illness and even death.  Every minute a young worker is injured on the job[i]. Adolescents and young adults (age: 15–24 years) suffer approximately twice the rate of occupational injuries as older workers[i]. The United States has set a goal of reducing the incidence rate of occupational injury by 10% among adolescents aged 15–19 years old by 2020[ii].

While employers have the biggest responsibility to reduce occupational injuries among adolescent workers, others have crucial roles to play as well. The young workers themselves must follow the safe work practices established by their employers. Schools, labor unions, and federal and state agencies also bear responsibilities.  Parents, like you, also play a vital role in protecting young people in the workplace.

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