Report released on Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens

Farm work

farmworkWhen your teenager is searching for a job this summer beware. There are a number of jobs that are dangerous for teenagers.

The nation’s oldest consumer organization is warning teens and their parents to exercise caution in choosing summer jobs: every day in the United States about 400 teens are hurt on the job; every eleven days, a teen is killed at work.

In the Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens 2012, a new report on teen worker safety released by the National Consumers League (NCL), the consumer group is reminding teen jobseekers that some jobs are more dangerous than others. The report also provides practical advice for teens and their parents on how to stay safe on the job.

“Our tough job market may lead young people who need jobs to take ones that are unsafe,” said Reid Maki, NCL’s Director for Social Responsibility and Fair Labor Standards. Since 2000, the percentage of working teens has fallen 40 percent—in part because the federal government has cut back on funding for youth programs and in part because of the global economic recession. The weakening of child labor laws in some states, and the withdrawal of proposed federal safety protections for children who work in agriculture, also mean that children may not be as safe in the coming year.

“Teens just entering the job market may not think that their job could kill them, but for 34 children and teenagers last year, it did.” said Maki. “Two 14-year-old girls detasseling corn last year in Illinois were electrocuted by irrigation equipment in a saturated field. A six-year-old died as he helped at his father’s landscaping business, feeding a branch into a woodchipper and instantly pulled in to his death.”

Right here in Maryland last month, Cleason Nolt, 14, perished in a manure septic pont with his 18-year-old brother and father in Kennedyville. According to the report, it is not uncommon for there to be multiple deaths when workers are overcome with noxious oders, especially as rescue attempts are made.

Thousands of teen workers are also injured. Two 17-year-olds in Oklahoma became trapped in grain augur last summer, losing a leg each—an example of the traumatic injuries that can occur.