June 21, 2016 - On June 21, 2016, the sixth annual National Young Worker Safety Day (NYWSD) celebrated the achievements of students and educators while raising awareness of youth injuries in the workplace. Thousands of career and technical education students participated in the National Young Worker Safety Day celebration at the 52nd SkillsUSA® National Leadership and Skills Conference this year.
CareerSafe’s founder Dr. Teverbaugh stated, “On National Young Worker Safety Day, over 6,000 CTE teachers and students enthusiastically pledged to embrace safety awareness in their schools, workplaces, homes and communities. Their demonstrated commitment brings us one step closer to our goal of ensuring that every young worker knows their legal right to a safe workplace and can mitigate workplace hazards.” He went on to say, “CareerSafe is proud to advocate on behalf of America’s youth because No Job is Worth a Young Worker’s Life!”
Throughout NYWSD, the CareerSafe team created hundreds of new relationships and opened doors to fresh opportunities in increasing awareness for workplace safety for young workers prior to their first jobs. More individuals pledged to StaySafe in the workplace than ever before. Students, teachers, and industry leaders were encouraged to sign the safety banner and pledge to StartSafe and StaySafe in the workplace. This year’s banner was completely full with signatures signifying a commitment to safety. CareerSafe distributed commemorative t-shirts and other giveaways for students and educators participating in the event.
The importance of National Young Worker Safety Day continues to be significant each year as young workers enter the workforce. According to the CDC, there were approximately 20.3 million young people, under the age of 24, entering the workforce in 2015; however, this does not mean that these young workers are prepared and confident to handles the risks associated with a work environment. It is important to note that workplace safety is often overlooked for young workers because they often work on a seasonal or part-time basis. Based on current statistics, young workers between the ages of 16 and 24, have the highest rates of work-related injuries and illnesses. “Young workers tend to be employed in some of our more dangerous workplaces and experience a disproportionate amount of workplace injuries. Every seven minutes a young worker is hospitalized, and every five days a young worker is killed on the job,” stated U.S. Senator Al Franken, D-Minnesota on the importance of National Young Worker Safety Day, “As a father, a grandfather and Ranking Member of the Senate Employee and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, I’m saddened by these figures That’s why today’s event, the National Young Worker Safety Day, is so important.”
For those that were not be able to attend the conference, efforts to promote youth safety education continue on at HOSA, FCCLA, and FBLA national conferences in June and July. CareerSafe has compiled important statistics, helpful safety tips, and information on workplace injuries and deaths associated with the different industries. To access these resources, please visit our resources page.
CareerSafe encourages both educators and students to continue to help promote safety awareness all year-round through several scholarship opportunities. Students are challenged to create both safety video PSAs and written essays expressing the importance of safety training. Follow CareerSafe news, social media, and events to remain up to date on opportunities to make a difference in workplace safety education.
Through a collaborative effort, what we do every day can save lives and lower injury rates for young workers. Remember, no job is worth a young worker’s life.