Hartford – Governor M. Jodi Rell has issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 13-19, 2007 as Young Worker Safety Week in the State of Connecticut. “Employment in today’s workforce is an important, beneficial, and productive life experience for Connecticut’s young people” said Governor Rell. “State agencies play a vital role in collaborating with employers, educators, and parents to protect those young people at work.”
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, over 50 teens under the age of 18 die from work-related injuries every year in the US. The work-related fatality rate for 18 and 19-year-old teens is even higher, generally twice that of workers less than 18. Over 144,000 Connecticut teens less than 18 years old work outside of school each year. Of those, approximately 2,000 are injured at work each year. It is estimated that only one-third of those teens injured at work seek medical treatment.
Young workers are much more susceptible to work-related injuries than adults for many reasons, including developmental factors and lack of training and experience. “Many hazards exist in the workplace that can cause harm to young workers,” stated J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner of the Department of Public Health. “It is the goal of the Department of Public Health to provide a resource to ensure a healthy and safe workplace for all Connecticut workers, especially our young people.”
Representatives from Public Health and Labor agencies in Connecticut and several other states, Federal agencies, and the National Young Worker Safety Resource Center, are meeting this week in Farmington for a two-day young worker health and safety conference. The purpose of this conference is to allow stakeholders from across the country to collaborate on strategies for promoting young worker safety awareness and improving the health and safety of youth at work.
The participants plan to highlight successful initiatives for protecting young workers and educating them about workplace hazards. The goal is to increase collaboration and more effectively share resources among state and federal agencies, as well as others with an interest in young worker safety and health, on an ongoing basis.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.
To contact the department, please visit its website at www.dph.state.ct.us or call (860) 509-7270.