249703 Quality of supervision and injury among teenagers in the workplace

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Teresa McGeeney, BA , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Louisville - School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Erin Welsh, BS , School of Public Health and Information Sciences; Department of Epidemiology, University of Louisville, Lousiville, KY
Kristina Zierold, PhD, MS , Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Background: Teenagers who work have twice the risk of injury as adult workers and sustain an estimated 230,000 injuries per year. Limited information regarding the impact of supervision on workplace injury in teenagers exists. This study investigated supervision and its relationship to safety and injury among working teenagers. Methods: Data was collected from teenagers attending public high schools in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 42 teens in April-May 2010 and a survey of over 3,000 students was completed in January-February 2011. Results: Forty-two teenagers were interviewed; 52% had been injured at their current job and 48% worry about getting hurt at work. While most teens reported that they saw their supervisors frequently, many teenagers felt that their supervisors only cared about job performance and not their wellbeing. A white, 19-year-old female explained, “some of them don't care at all […] They're more like, do your job and you get to go home after.” Analysis of recently collected survey data will help to elucidate teens' perceptions of their supervisors, the amount and quality of communication teens have with their supervisors, and the effects on teen injury. Conclusion: Supervision is likely an influential force in preventing occupational injury among teenagers. However, the teens interviewed perceived a lack of care from their supervisors, which may affect injury rates. This study will be the first to document how the amount and quality of supervision teens receive are connected to workplace injury.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1 . Identify the amount of supervision and how teens describe their supervisors; and assess differences by gender, age, and race of teen workers. 2 . Discuss perceptions of supervision among working teenagers. 3 . Describe possible associations between supervision of working teens and injury rates.

Keywords: Youth at Work, Injuries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked on this project in a variety of ways including: collecting data, analyzing data, and interpreting the findings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.