5th Annual Safe Jobs for Youth Poster Contest Winner Announced

March 12, 2015

With the latest state data showing that from 2007-2011, Massachusetts teens under the age of 18 required 2,291 Emergency Department visits for work-related injuries, teen labor leaders and state officials announced the winners of the statewide 5th annual Safe Jobs for Youth poster contest March 12, at the Massachusetts State House to raise awareness of the need for safe work.
Cori Farrow (17), of North Attleboro, won first place, taking home a cash prize of $500.  Second place went to Malakai Souto, (15) of Berkley, and third place went to Michaela Randall (16), of Uxbridge, who took home prizes of $300 and $100 respectively. Farrow’s work will also be displayed on MBTA vehicles. The winning poster can be viewed here.
“The contest is a really good thing to do because it gets you thinking about what a safe work environment means and how to achieve it and it gets you to portray your thoughts in a creative outlet,” said Farrow. “I think it's important for teens to… speak out about job safety.”
The contest was sponsored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and state and federal agencies, including MA Departments of Public Health, Education, Labor Standards, and Industrial Accidents, the Office of the Attorney General, Commonwealth Corporation, U.S. Department of Labor. 119 teens participated in the contest, and 69 youth served as judges, including young workers from MassCOSH’s Teens Lead @ Work program.
“Congratulations to the winners of contest,” said Stephanie DeSouza, a MassCOSH youth peer leader who presented the awards at the event. “We hope that the teens who see these works will think about them at work and pay attention to hazards that can lead to lifelong injuries.”
“Everyone who participated in this annual contest is a winner in my mind,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald Walker. “Our child labor laws help protect teens from dangerous work, but this kind of peer-to-peer outreach effort is vital to educating young workers about health and safety in the workplace.”
Nationally, young workers have almost twice the rate of non-fatal work-related per hour worked than older workers. The Yes Team states this high rate of injury can be explained in part by teens tending to be hired into industries that have a high risk for injury, such as restaurants, and that young workers are often provided insufficient health and safety training.
“It is critical that everyone understands their rights,” said Jonathan Miller, Chief of the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau in the Attorney General's Office. “Contests like this one promote efforts by our students to be engaged and thoughtful citizens who empower their fellow teens to stand up for their rights.”
Honorable mention awardees included Makena Joy Binker Cosen (15) of Brookline, Brittney Cherry (16) of Worcester, Catte Costello (15) of Middleboro, Roylee Neese (17) of Lowell, Amber Roos (15) of Taunton, Adam Rubinic (16) of Pepperell, Taylor Sabourin (16) of Westford, Sara Scholl (17) of Walpole.