Getting Hurt is Not in Your Job Description

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POP QUIZ: Deli slicers – How hard can they be to use?

Everyone seems to have story about someone being cut at work while using a deli slicer*. If you don’t have one yourself, ask a friend or colleague—they almost certainly do. And more often than not, the story involves a younger worker.

For many, the initial reaction to a cut is, “No big deal—it’ll heal soon enough.”

But what if that cut affects a tendon or ligament in the finger, which causes deformity or permanently limits movement? What if that cut isn’t a cut at all, but an amputation?

Young workers under age 25 are twice as likely to be injured on the job as older workers. And any injury has the potential to create a lasting impact on everyday life, or even one’s future, in addition to the more immediate suffering.


Getting Hurt Is Not In Your Job Description is a social media campaign, sponsored by the Massachusetts YES Team, that encourages youth to know about their rights on the job—specifically, their right to a safe and healthy workplace. The campaign shares realistic scenarios in which young workers are asked to do something that isn’t safe—use unlabeled chemicalswork alone at night—and urges them to recognize hazards, and to speak up or ask questions if they encounter situations at work that feel unsafe.


All workers should be provided health and safety training, and protective equipment as needed, for any task they are told to do.  But young workers in particular are less experienced and require adequate training and supervision, especially when there are known hazards in the workplace that cannot be removed by their employer.

Getting hurt is not in anyone’s job description. Receiving the appropriate training and supervision to perform a job safely should be in everyone’s.

POP QUIZ: Deli slicers – How hard can they be to use?

ANSWER: Everyone seems to have a story.

To learn more about young worker health and safety, visit

*Deli slicers are deemed hazardous enough that workers under age 18 are prohibited from using or cleaning them at all.



This week’s blog is a guest blog from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass Public Health Blog. It was written by Sara Rattigan, Health Communications Specialist in the Occupational Health and Safety Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. 

To check out more blogs from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, visit