Data published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) captures how younger workers, which they describe as anyone under the age of 24, comprised 12% of the U.S. workforce in 2018. That percentage equates to just over 19 million young people.
The federal agency’s data shows that this demographic has one of the highest injury rates. Certain age groups have higher injury or fatality rates than others.
How common are injuries among young workers?
The incidence rate of non-fatal injuries among young workers varies by their age group. NIOSH’s data shows that it’s highest among the 16 to 19-year-old demographic. In 2018, that rate was 110.3 per 10,000 full-time employees (FTE). It was 99.3 per 10,000 FTE among workers aged 20 through 24 that same year.
NIOSH data from 2017 captured how the number of 15- to 19-year-olds who visited emergency rooms for work-related injuries that year was 1.25 times that of workers aged 25 and over.
How common are workplace fatalities among young workers?
That same federal data reveals how 360 workers under 24 died in workplace accidents in 2018. At least 22 of those incidents resulted in the deaths of workers under the age of 18.
Which factors leave young workers vulnerable to getting hurt?
NIOSH lists two reasons why this younger demographic has high injury rates. They note that a lack of training and work experience are contributing factors. The federal agency also points out that high-school age workers may lack the mental maturity necessary to carry out their job roles safely.
What you can do if you or your minor child suffered injuries on the job
Florida law requires most employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ medical costs should they suffer injuries on the job. Don’t take an employer’s word if they say that the state doesn’t require them to have such coverage or if they seem resistant to use it to cover your expenses.
Instead, let a workers’ compensation attorney know about such an issue so that they can advise you on your rights to seek compensation and medical benefits.