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Workplace injury risks for teens

Many of our Charlotte readers know that one of the proudest moments a parent has is when their child gets their first job. Whether it's a part-time job at a car wash or restaurant or office, it can be a big part of the transition from teen to adult.

While the rewards of work for young people cannot be overstated, it is at the same time important to mention that with those rewards comes a certain amount of risk of on-the-job accident and injury. We read recently of a young man who is devoting himself to educating teens about those risks so that none of them will have to deal with the type of event that changed his life.

Because Matt Pomerinke lives in the northwest, his first job was at a lumber mill. He tells school kids about the moments in which his arm got caught in a piece of machinery. "And I've got to sit there and I've got to watch as that sprocket starts to dig though my arm and go through all the skin," he recently told a group. "And all the muscles in my arm literally started exploding," he said.

He lost the lower portion of his arm in the terrible accident.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that more than 3 million people under the age of 20 work in restaurants, with a heavy emphasis on fast food joints. Because those work environments are often fast-paced and many times involve work near hot stoves and other kitchen appliances, accidents and injuries happen.

For those workers injured on the job and then denied workers' compensation benefits, an accident can wind up financially painful in addition to physically painful. With the help of a qualified workers' comp attorney, you can fight for the compensation you deserve.

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Charlotte, NC 28204

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