Young Workers

Young Workers

American teens and young adults often enter the work force eager to prove themselves and excited to earn money. What they don’t know is that they are at risk. Young workers in the U.S. are twice as likely as older workers to get injured on the job. From 1998 through 2007, workers age 15 to 24 had an estimated 7.9 million nonfatal job-related injuries requiring emergency room treatment. This is double the rate for workers 25 and older. The highest rate of nonfatal injuries is among workers age 18 and 19.

Young workers are vulnerable because they lack the knowledge to recognize job hazards and the confidence to speak up about them. They are also less aware of their legal rights as workers. That includes child labor laws which restrict the hours of work and the types of tasks that young workers under 18 years old may perform.

Mission: NYCOSH educates youth about how to recognize job hazards and exercise their rights to safe and healthy workplaces.  NYCOSH provides training to parents, teachers and employers on how to protect the safety and health of young workers.  NYCOSH  builds coalitions of government agencies, unions, schools and community organizations to improve working conditions for this vulnerable group of workers.


TalkingTeen Worker Safety in Your Classroom:

Youth@Work Talking Safety Dissemination Project

Youth@Work: Talking Safety is a free, easy-to-use, participatory (and fun!) curriculum for high school students that has been adapted for all 50 states.  The New York State curriculum can be found here.

You can download a  flyer that describes the ”Youth@Work: Talking Safety” curriculum here.

NYCOSH offers training sessions (2-3 hours) to introduce teachers to the curriculum.  If you would like to arrange for a session (minimum of 10 teachers), or if you would like to help to disseminate this curriculum among teachers in your school or district, contact Susan McQuade at

YouthSafe Poster and Video Contests

NYCOSH’s annual YouthSafe Contests raises awareness of workplace safety issues for youth workers. The contest invites high school students from across New York State to compete for cash prizes by submitting original posters and videos about job safety for young people. NYCOSH is now inviting submissions for its 2014 YouthSafe Contest.

New York State Young Worker Safety and Health Project

NYCOSH is an active participant in the New York State Young Workers Safety and Health Project, a coalition of government agencies, unions, teachers and activists dedicated to raising awareness of safety and health issues for young workers.  For a copy of the 2012 Governor's Proclamation, click here.  Please contact us if you are interested in participating in this network.

- The Youth@Work Talking Safety Dissemination Project, which promotes the use and integration of the Youth@Work:Talking Safety curriculum in classrooms throughout New York State.  The curriculum is free and available through the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health at



2013 YouthSafe Video Contest Winners


First Place - Zaire Brown


Second Place - Connor Melanophy


Third Place - Adam Fasano

Youth on the Job Fact Sheets/Posters:

Great for printing or posting on the web -

#1 Your Rights at Work

#2 Hazards at Work

#3 Stand Up for Your Rights

#4 Repetitive Strain Injuries

#5 Chemical Soup - Chemical Hazards at Work

#6 Violence at Work

Resources for Youth:

New York State Department of Labor Youth Page

Natl. Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Youth Page

Child Labor Coalition

Youtube Link: 
NYCOSH Offices:

New York City
61 Broadway - Suite 1710
NY, NY 10006
(Fax) 212-227-9854

Long Island
150 Motor Parkway - Suite 306
Hauppauge, NY 11788
(Fax) 631-435-1893