Statewide Young Worker Safety Poster Contest Winners Announced

March 14, 2019

With the latest state data showing that from 2011-2015, Massachusetts teens under the age of 18 required 1,379 emergency department (ED) visits for work-related injuries, teen safety advocates and state officials announced the winners of the 2019 statewide Safe Jobs for Youth poster contest today at the Massachusetts State House to raise awareness of the dangers young workers face as they enter into the labor force.
 
Elizabeth Trull (17), of Rockland, won first place, taking home a cash prize of $500.  Second place went to Oliver Leventhal (16) of Arlington, and third place went to Ethan Dollarhide (16), of Fall River, taking home prizes of $300 and $100, respectively. Trull’s work will be displayed on MBTA vehicles later this spring. The winning poster can be viewed by visiting https://www.mass.gov/guides/2019-ma-safe-jobs-for-youth-poster-contest.
 
Over 200 teens participated in the contest, and 61 youth served as judges, including young workers from Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health’s (MassCOSH) Teens Lead @ Work program.
 
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there were nearly two ED visits by teens for every 100 full-time teen workers, a rate 42% higher than adult workers above the age of 25. Four industries accounted for more than 70% of work-related teen injuries to teens. These industries include Accommodations and Food Service, Retail, Health Care and Social Assistance, and Construction.
 
“The best part of this poster contest was being able to spread a message to teens like me, who usually don’t have a platform like this,” said Trull. “Safety is too important to ignore.”
 
“Congratulations to all those that participated and won the competition,” said Trent Jordan, (18) a MassCOSH youth peer leader who presented the awards at the event. “We hope that these posters not only enlighten, but empower the youth to understand and recognize hazards at work while advocating for safe jobs for youth.”
 
Poster contest finalists included Rachel Shaw (16) of Sandwich, Victoria C. Rodriguez (15) of Berkley, Ethan Masters (15) of Arlington, Jonathan Young (17) of Eastham, Hannah Chace (17) of Fall River, Kaitlyn Gorton (17) of Seekonk, and Audrey Bronson (18) of Southampton. 
 
The contest was sponsored by MassCOSH and an interagency working group, The Massachusetts Youth Employment and Safety (YES) Team, which includes Commonwealth Corporation; the MA Office of the Attorney General; the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; the MA Department of Industrial Accidents; the MA Department of Public Health; the MA Department of Labor Standards; the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division; the U.S. Department of Labor; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.