When I think about summer jobs for my kids – one in college and one in high school – I worry whether they will be responsible enough, whether they will save their money, etc. I haven’t worried too much about their safety, but maybe I should. The National Consumers League today released a report called “The Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens in 2012,” and it’s a little scary. Every day in the U.S., 400 teens are hurt on the job. Last year, 34 teens and children were killed on the job. Yes, I said children.
So what are the most dangerous jobs? I wasn’t surprised to see harvesting and fork-lift operation on the list; those are dangerous for anyone. But landscape work? Traveling sales? Who would suspect that tending the neighbors’ lawns or selling magazines door-to-door could be dangerous?
Teen deaths on-the-job include motor vehicle crashes, equipment malfunction (including operator error), falls, and electrocution. But physical and sexual abuse can also happen at work, and teens are less likely to have the coping skills to handle a violent or abusive boss.
Working teens are down over the past decade, primarily due to cut backs in federal spending for youth programs, according to NCL. But fewer jobs also means teens are more likely to take dangerous jobs. The weakening of some state child labor laws and proposed changes in federal laws regarding children working in agriculture may make the situation worse in the future.
BBB has warned parents and teens about the danger of some jobs, and was cited in the report.