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Making workplaces safer for adolescents
Early this century it was not uncommon for young people to start permanent, full time employment at 14 years of age. With increasing school retention rates, this age increased steadily. A recent trend towards commencing part time work to supplement incomes while continuing to study has meant that adolescents are in workplaces which may not be completely safe. A North Carolina study of 562 working teenagers found that one third had been employed before the age of 14 and that two thirds had more than one job, commonly lawn mowing, working at cash registers, and dishwashing. Half had been injured at work, usually being cut or burned, but they were also injured by ladders, scaffolding, forklifts, tractors, and ride-on mowers (
). An Australian study of 997 trade apprentices also found that more than half had been injured at work and that the chances of sustaining injury increased with the year level of the apprenticeship. The construction and engineering trades experienced high levels of injury, …