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Fed agencies network to help working teens

Millions of teens are preparing to enter the workforce this summer doing a variety of jobs that will teach them valuable skills. And many risk being seriously or even fatally injured on the job.

Eighty percent of U.S. teenagers work during their high school years. In 2001, 45,000 teens were injured at work, and 175 died as a result of an on-the-job injury.

To address this challenge, numerous federal agencies, collectively known as the Federal Network for Young Worker Safety and Health (FedNet) have joined to educate teens, their parents, counselors and employers on how young people can stay safe on the job.

FedNet's latest Web-based product, "Teen Summer Jobs: Safety Pays," is available at www.osha.gov/teens. It provides teen worker safety and health materials in English and Spanish. Topics covered include safe driving, lawn care, life guarding, farm work, construction, parks and recreation and restaurants.

There are five basic steps teens can take to help reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses:

  • Talk to their employer;
  • Know their workplace rights;
  • Stay alert and work safe;
  • Get safety and health training; and
  • Find and follow practical safety tips like those found on FedNet's Web site.

The nine FedNet agencies committed to coordinating their efforts to help reduce work-related injuries and illnesses among teen-age workers include the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Education, Health & Human Services, Interior, Labor, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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