Missouri Department of Labor Announces Annual “Safe Jobs for Youth” Campaign Kickoff


Jefferson City, MO  (CompNewsNetwork) - With summer approaching and thousands of youth eagerly anticipating entering Missouri's workplace and taking summer jobs, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations today announced the start of its "Safe Jobs for Youth" awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to focus on preventing youth injuries in the workplace.

The Department's Division of Labor Standards will run campaign ads on radio stations throughout Missouri during the entire month of May to help employers, parents, schools and most importantly Missouri's youth, prepare for summer jobs. The campaign will also build upon the success of last year's web page teensworksafe.com A new site, www.molaborlaws.com will be released as single source of information for Missouri's employers, parents, schools and workforce. This site will remain active year-round to provide ongoing updates regarding child labor and other labor laws to help educate Missouri's workers and employers throughout the year.

"Thousands of Missouri teens work part-time or summer jobs," said Todd Smith, director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. "While these early work experiences definitely provide opportunities for learning important job skills, it's imperative that our youth work in environments that protect them from inappropriate, excessive or hazardous labor," Smith added. "Missouri's child labor law helps protect our young people by helping ensure they have the necessary time to pursue their education and be employed in safe working environments."

Inexperience in the workplace is a safety concern. Unfortunately, injuries to young people do occur on the job. In 2007, 530 of Missouri youth under 18 suffered injuries severe enough to file injury reports. While this was a significant decrease from 2006 in which 1,500 youth injuries were reported, the Department of Labor wants to help prevent even more injuries from occurring, and the "Safe Jobs for Youth" campaign is another method of education, promotion and prevention.

Missouri's child labor law restricts the age, number of hours and occupations youth can work. Prohibited occupations generally involve dangerous equipment (cookers, slicers), dangerous materials (such as toxic chemicals) and dangerous duties (driving, roofing).

The Division of Labor Standards offers employers several resources to assist in keeping working youth safe. The On-Site Consultation program is a free, confidential program for employers to help them maintain hazard-free workplaces. In addition, staff is available to conduct training, offer presentations, attend conferences and answer general requests for assistance.

In helping parents, educators, employers and others protect Missouri's teens, the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is releasing a Top 10 Safety List of Kids at Work:

Know your workplace rights and responsibilities.
Ask for proper training for your job, especially for emergencies.
Insist on proper supervision when performing your job.
Never cross state lines or travel further than 30 miles.
Resist temptation to do a task unless you feel comfortable and confident.
Know the prohibited occupations to increase your safety.
Know the work hour limitations/restrictions for your age.
Be sure you have the appropriate documentation (work certificate or permit).
Make sure you know whom to call if there is a problem at work.
Be sure that your parents know where you work and what you do.
For more information regarding youth workplace safety, please visit www.molaborlaws.com or call (573) 751-3403.

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